Stress Related Sick Days Rise in Welsh Teachers

Schools have not survived the stress epidemic of the Western World unscathed. Not only are students pushed to extremes by their levels of stress, but teachers are suffering too.

Apparently over 50,000 sick days are being taken per year by teachers across Wales as a result of mental illness from stress, with Neath Port Talbot suffering the most. In this area, over 5,088.5 days worth of teaching were lost as a result of stress.

These are figures collected by the National Union of Teachers (Cymru).

The Swansea area’s teachers’ stress related sick days have dropped, showing minor improvements in that area, but the figure was still over 2,000.

A spokeswoman for Swansea council said: “We welcome the fall in days lost due to stress related absence in Swansea”. Surely however, any days off with stress indicate a problem with the system and should not be welcomed until the total is 0.

Possible causes for the high rate of absences include stresses over pensions, increasing workloads and the ever shifting education system, demanding different priorities and policies, alongside the large number of hoops that have to be jumped through by teaching staff.

This follows reports from the beginning of the year on the excessively high number of police officers that are off work with stress, showing that stress is an issue that has not been sufficiently addressed by the country, especially with NHS mental healthcare facing more cuts.

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