OVER 40 per cent of Scottish teachers are considering leaving the profession in the next 18 months because of workload, according to research.

The findings are part of an independent survey of members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union by academics from Bath Spa University.

The report, which was based on nearly 5,000 survey responses, concluded that working conditions of teachers were "extremely poor" regardless of what job they did.

It said: "Scottish teachers have high levels of demands, poor control over how they perform their functions, poor support from management, at times strained relationships at work, a poor understanding of their role in an organisation, and are exposed to a lot of organisational change without consultation.

"Teachers in Scotland have too many administrative expectations and not enough preparation time, as well as a lack of managerial support mechanisms for dealing with challenging student and parental behaviour."

The survey found both primary and secondary teachers were exposed to "high levels" of poor student behaviour with some 40 per cent of primary teachers exposed to negative parental behaviour either online or on school premises at least once a month.

Report co-author Dr Jermaine Ravalier, co-lead of the Psychological Research Group at Bath Spa University, blamed government cuts for the problem.

She said: "We have clear evidence that underfunding in our public services is leading to increased stress and intentions to leave.

"If only half of those who said they’d leave actually do so in the next 18 months, our public services are about to be hit with a huge exodus of staff.

"If and when this happens it is not only hugely expensive, but will also have massive impacts on our next generation, as well as those who require the help and support of our social services."

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, said: "The results confirm that teachers continue to be overburdened with excessive workload demands and are subject to high levels of stress.

"This will obviously have a detrimental impact on morale within the profession and on teachers’ health and wellbeing."

Mr Flanagan said it was "particularly worrying" that 40 per cent of teachers are considering leaving their job within the next 18 months because of ongoing recruitment challenges across the country.

He added: "This clearly highlights the need for urgent action to make teaching a more attractive profession, with better working conditions, to ensure that we can continue to attract and retain highly qualified graduates into teaching.

"This must include reducing the bureaucratic and workload demands on teachers, ensuring that schools are fully staffed and significant improvements in levels of pay following a decade of real-terms cuts to teachers’ salaries.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We have made a commitment to tackle bureaucracy and address excessive teacher workload and that will continue to be a key theme of our bold education reforms.

“We have already acted to reduce teachers’ workload, working closely with EIS, local authorities and other partners, and ensuring they can focus on providing valuable learning experiences for young people.

“As agreed with the EIS, we are phasing the removal of mandatory unit assessments for a number of qualifications.

"We have clearly set out what teachers should and should not be asked to do, and reviewed demands placed on schools by local authorities in relation to Curriculum for Excellence."