This article examines the impact of educational change and government initiatives on teachers. As a result, stress and its effective management are high on the agenda of many schools. It has been identified as a major factor in teacher job dissatisfaction, job-related illness and early retirement. The research identifies major stresses in primary and secondary schools. Adapting an illuminative research paradigm, it gave teachers the opportunity to voice concern in a series of focus groups, followed by individual focused interviews. Certain work-related stressors emerged as common, even though the causes of stress might be different for each individual or group of teachers. The research analysis grouped the stressors into eight clusters or factors. It confirmed the importance of considering both organisational and personal factors in any examination of teacher stress and that it is the relation between them which explains why stress is felt as a stigma by many teachers. The article suggests a number of strategies which school leaders need to consider as part of any management plans.