The startling number of teachers in South Ayrshire 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 6,500 work days were lost by teachers in South Ayrshire due to stress-led staff absences.

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 1129 in 2007 to 1056 in 2017.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “Teachers in South Ayrshire 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 South Ayrshire the pupil to teacher ratio has remained above the Scottish average at a time when teacher workloads have also increased. While these latest figures, which show over 6,500 work days have been lost due to the rising stress levels in local classrooms are shocking, they are somewhat unsurprising given the higher pupil to teacher ratio and cuts to council funding by the Government. With 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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