Between 1989 and 1999 half the teachers in England and Wales quit their posts. By the late nineties more than six thousand teachers a year were retiring early on grounds of ill health. In recent years hardly a school in the country has not lost at least one teacher because of a 'nervous breakdown'.
Breakdown looks at what is happening in teaching today. Why breakdowns have become so common, what it means to suffer a breakdown, and the consequences of this epidemic for schools and children. It suggests what teachers can do to help themselves, what schools should do to help their staff and the ways in which the local authorities can offer practical support.
'A thorough and believable look into what is going on in schools and why teachers are more stressed than other working adults ... well researched and authoritative.' - Sue Furness, Teacherline co-ordinator, The Teacher Support Network
'Disturbing and convincing. His advice to schools and teachers is eminently sensible.' - Michael Duffy, Times Educational Supplement
'I would just like to thank you for your marvellous book ... I couldn't put it down ... You have hit the nail on the head in so many ways. Your book should be mandatory reading for everyone who has the slightest involvement in education, from nursery teacher to minister.' - Mike Kent, Headteacher and TES columnist, in a letter to the author
'This book by John Cosgrove is certainly one I can recommend. This is a very readable book written by a deputy headteacher with years' experience of teaching in primary and secondary schools. It combines being informative about general trends with a number of insightful observations based on his own experiences and first-hand sources. This is a book that any teacher can pick up and read happily from cover to cover.' - Chris Kyriacou, Journal of Education for Teaching
'Breakdown is worth reading, for those with many years in the profession and those starting out. It's a good antidote to the guilt we often feel when we can't manage all we are asked to do, when in our hearts we know we have already done our best.' - Irene Dalton, Times Educational Supplement
'I was very impressed by this book since, written by a practitioner in the "firing line" as it were, it provides a significant, sometimes ascerbic, commentary upon the many changes in policy and legislation with which educationalists are having to cope at the present time ... Cosgrove has produced a well-written and adequately researched book which should be of interest not only to practitioners but also those involved in the formulation and implementation of educational policy ... it is, therefore highly commended.' - James Wood, PER