Sandwell: the 15 West Bromwich, Tipton & Oldbury schools with the most teacher sickness absences

Here we unveil which schools in Sandwell had the greatest number of days taken in sickness absence by teachers

There has been a rise in sick days taken by teachers in Sandwell, with new figures showing the worst-affected schools in the borough.

Teacher sickness led to the loss of 3.2 million working days across schools in England in the 2021/22 academic year, a rise of 61% over five years, with one union blaming “stress, overwork and burnout”.

The average teacher in England took 6.3 days off sick in 2021/22, up from 4.1 days five years before, Department for Education figures show. More than two thirds of teachers (68%) were off sick at some point in the academic year, up from 55% five years before.

In the West Midlands teachers took an average of 6.6 days off sick in the last academic year, up from 4.3 days in 2016/17. In Sandwell, a total of 21,243 working days were lost across the year, with 64.5 % of teachers taking sickness absence that year.

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT (the Teacher’s Union), said that the increase in both the proportion of teachers taking sick leave and the number of days taken “reflects the reality that teachers are increasingly suffering stress, overwork and burnout”.

“The government has expected teachers simply to soldier on throughout the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis whilst more children are presenting with acute learning and support needs. The job of teaching is becoming impossible for teachers who are also finding themselves taking on the roles of counsellor, social worker and therapist to fill gaps left by cuts to children’s services.”

He said the figures were likely the “tip of the iceberg” as staffing pressures meant many teachers felt they had little choice but to come to work even when unwell.

Schools across the country were also hit with more teacher sickness absences during the 2021/22 time period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department for Education was approached for comment. In a note accompanying the figures, it said the Office for National Statistics had observed a rise in sickness absence across the UK since 2020, which “broadly aligns” with the picture in the schools workforce.

Here we reveal which schools in Sandwell had the greatest average number of days taken in sickness absence by teachers, including those who were not off sick.

The data includes different types of schools, including primary and secondary. We have omitted schools where fewer than five teachers took sick leave.

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