Scottish Conservative MSPs Murdo Fraser and Liz Smith have raised concerns over the “extremely worrying” number of days that Fife teachers who have had to take time off work due to stress or a mental health related condition.
Figures supplied through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that Fife teachers racked up 5,825 days off in the 2018/19 financial year due to suffering from stress – an increase from 5,319 in the 2017/18 financial year.
And the data supplied by Fife Council also showed an alarming number of working days - 1,802 – were lost through a mental health related condition in the 2018/19 financial year. This rose from 1,593 in the 2017/18 financial year.
The damning information follows a survey carried out in early 2019 which found that more than 75% of Scottish teachers frequently feel stress because of their workload.
Commenting, Murdo Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “I find these figures extremely worrying. Teachers should not be subjected to so much pressure in their job that they are faced with taking time off work.
"It’s never good to hear of people suffering from mental health problems, especially when the causes stem from their working environment.
“And the absence of so many teachers has a knock-on effect in that school children then have to deal with replacement teachers and being deprived of their usual teacher. This is another indication of the SNP’s failure on education.”
And Liz Smith, who also represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, added: “These figures are staggering and truly shocking. They emphasise the pressure teachers in Fife are under.
“I do hope that these teachers that have been off work due to stress or a mental health related condition have been receiving the appropriate support and medical help."