Healthy figures on staffroom absence

21st January 2005 at 00:00
Teachers take less time off through sickness than any other group of local authority staff, figures from Audit Scotland show.

The value for money watchdog found that overall 3.8 per cent of teachers'

working time was lost due to sickness in 2003-04, against an average rate for council employees of 5.3 per cent.

The general figure has remained unchanged since 1999-2000, but the figure for teacher illness has come down slightly from the previous year.

The 3.8 per cent rate for teachers contrasts with 6.3 per cent for craft and manual employees, and 5.2 per cent for the group which includes chief officers, administrative, professional, technical and clerical employees.

Teacher absenteeism through illness varies considerably across councils, however, from 2.9 per cent in Edinburgh and Western Isles schools to 5.2 per cent in Clackmannanshire.

Thirteen councils reported lower levels of absenteeism among teachers compared with the previous year. Glasgow and South Ayrshire have reduced the levels each year for the past four years.

The Educational Institute of Scotland said the level of commitment was not surprising, but there would be concern if genuinely ill teachers were struggling into work.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today