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24 September 2014
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   Inside Out - East Midlands: Friday February 9, 2007
John Illingworth
Strains of teaching - John Illingworth suffered a breakdown

Teacher stress

Inside Out tells the moving and emotional story of a Nottingham man whose life was destroyed by the job he loved.

John Illingworth had been a teacher for 33 years - 24 as a Primary Head.

But the pressure, stress and strain of running Bentinck Primary School in Nottingham drove him to have a mental breakdown.

John explains the extreme stresses faced by teachers:

"It was the relentless pressure of testing, inspections and never ending Government initiatives that wore me down."

On Inside Out John retraces the painful journey from breakdown to recovery and the pivotal moment when he publicly admitted his mental illness to a National Union of Teachers Conference last year.

There are tearful moments as John is seen undergoing therapy.

He lays bare his continuing fears and phobias about returning to his old school, and recalls the warm tributes paid to him when he recently went back for a special assembly.

Stresses and strains

John Illingworth at NUT conference
"Like it or not I've become an expert on going mad!"
John Illingworth

In the film John visits an old friend - John Peck the head teacher at Peafield Lane Primary in Mansfield Woodhouse.

He discovers that his former colleague has also suffered with stress and has been forced to go part time.

John is now campaigning to reduce the workload on teachers and wryly observes:

"Like it or not, I've become an expert on going mad!"

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Inside Out profiles the pensioners who refuse to retire.

Since October 2006 it's been illegal to force employees to retire at the age of 65, and within five years the government is expected to scrap the upper retirement age altogether

Veteran broadcaster Ray Gosling - still working at the age of 67 - meets other veteran workers, but urges the government to do more to encourage older workers by reducing their tax burden.

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Nine people are killed every day, that's more than 3,000 every year and the trauma that causes the families left behind, has led to an increasing trend in tributes on the roadside.

Marie Ashby investigates why people increasingly feel the need to grieve away from the graveside.

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