The startling number of teachers in Dumfries and Galloway having to take time off work due to stress has been revealed by Scottish Labour as the staffing crisis in our classrooms deepens.

Data uncovered using freedom of information laws by Scottish Labour reveals that between 2015/16 and 2017/18, over 7,000 work days were lost by teachers in Dumfries and Galloway due to stress-led staff absences- over 2,000 hours per year.

Workloads for local teachers are increasing after the latest figures revealed that the number of teachers in the region has falling under the SNP from 1601 in 2007 to 1470 in 2017.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “Teachers in Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland are under increased stress as the staffing crisis in our schools takes its toll.

“The number of teachers under the SNP is on the decline and cuts in funding to local authorities by the Scottish Government are inevitably impacting on schools, as education takes up the biggest slice of a council budget”.

“In Dumfries and Galloway the council have tried to mitigate against the cuts and have maintained one of the lowest pupil to teacher pupil ratios in Scotland. But these latest figures, which show 7000 work days have been lost due to the rising stress levels in local classrooms are shocking. Given the difficulties there are recruiting supply teachers to cover when teachers are absent, there is no doubt this will impact on the work in our classrooms.

“It also looks as if we could soon see the first teacher strike in years due to the SNP’s refusal to give our hardworking teachers a fair pay rise.

“Teachers are right to feel that they are being undervalued by this government. It’s time for the Scottish Government to start to listen and to properly invest in our teachers.”

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