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.