Teachers are facing “dystopian levels” of work-related stress and cannot go on much longer without reforms to their pay and conditions, a union has warned.

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, has accused the Government of ushering in an era where “teaching is no longer a sustainable way to make a living”.

His comments came ahead of the union’s annual conference in Harrogate in Yorkshire over Easter.

The NASUWT union has been consulting its members in recent weeks to gauge whether they would be interested in taking industrial action on pay, workload, working hours and wellbeing.

The results of the union’s consultative ballot – on possible industrial action to secure a better deal for teachers – are expected to be announced at the conference over the weekend.

A poll by the NASUWT union, of more than 7,000 members in England between January and March, suggests nearly three in four (73%) have seriously considered leaving their job in the past year.

Among those who considered leaving, half cited pay as a “significant factor” in their decision.

Nearly nine in ten (89%) NASUWT members surveyed said they were worried about their current financial situation.

More than one in four (28%) said they have had to increase their use of credit or apply for a payday loan in the last 12 months, and about one in ten (11%) have had to take a second job, the poll found.

Delegates at the NASUWT conference are due to debate a motion on Friday which calls for a new deal for teachers on their pay and working conditions.

The motion says securing entitlements for children depends upon securing the entitlements of teachers to the pay and conditions they deserve.

It adds that addressing the “crisis” of teacher recruitment, retention and morale must be a “core priority for any future government”.

Dr Roach said: “Teachers in the UK are experiencing dystopian levels of workload and work-related stress.

“They can’t go on much longer without reform to their pay, their workloads, their working hours and their rights at work.”

He highlighted findings of another NASUWT poll, released last month, which suggests only 10% saw their working hours as manageable, and 40% reported working at least 50 hours a week in term-time.

“This Government has ushered in an era where teaching is no longer a sustainable way to make a living and build a career,” Dr Roach said.

He added: “Schools cannot function without teachers, and children cannot thrive without the care and expertise of their teachers, yet we face having too few teachers left.

“The Department for Education (DfE) says it wants to build a world-class education system. That will require world-class working conditions for teachers.

“Our members will keep demanding a better deal for as long as it takes.”

At the union’s conference on Friday, Rashida Din, incoming president of the NASUWT, will warn that the teaching profession is in “crisis” following 14 years of “chronic underfunding”.

In a speech to delegates, Ms Din will call on a future government to invest in the workforce with “world-class pay and working conditions”.

She is due to say that the union will “strengthen” its campaign for better pay and working conditions throughout this year and will add that “it is not over”.

A DfE spokesperson said: “We now have more teachers than ever before, with over 468,000 teachers in the workforce, a 27,000 increase on 2010. In 2023 we delivered the largest teacher pay award in over 30 years, and a minimum starting salary of £30,000.

“We have recently published our evidence to the independent pay review body to inform their recommendations for teachers’ pay for 2024/25. We’ll respond to their recommendations in the summer, in line with the usual process.

“We are also taking steps to ease teachers’ workload pressures which includes plans to support schools to reduce working hours for teachers by five hours a week.”