Teachers and support staff in Edinburgh have been increasingly unwell and needed to take more time off work for reasons of mental ill health, new research by the Scottish Liberal Democrats has revealed.
For Edinburgh, the number of sick days lost for teachers, heads and deputy heads and support staff was as follows:
Edinburgh Northern and Leith candidate and Scottish Liberal Democrat mental health spokesperson Rebecca Bell commented: "Our teaching staff are fantastic but the evidence shows they have been under too much strain for too long. I'm worried about this alarming rate of increase, we need to do better by our teachers, otherwise they will burn out and leave the profession, they should be valued better than this. Just in the last 3 years the number of days lost to poor mental health equates to 80 years!
“The pressures caused by the SNP’s top-down approach to education and the loss of valuable classroom support have been obvious for some time. It’s no surprise that both teacher morale and Scotland’s performance in international educational surveys are headed in the wrong direction. All of this was taking its toll long before the coronavirus pandemic came over the horizon.
“Since then, teachers have been thrust into the frontline, dealing with conditions that no other professional group has been asked to put up with. It will be no surprise if absences this year are even higher.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to call for a better pay deal for teachers, backed by an independent review of their conditions and the demands placed upon them and a new package of measures to make teaching the valued and rewarding profession that it should be.”