Teachers in Aberdeen have taken more than 700 days off due to stress in the space of a year.
During the last school year, staff called in sick on 721 days – with some remaining away from the classroom for months at a time.
And last night, a teaching union warned that the “extremely worrying trend” looked likely to continue with the situation exacerbated by a combination of staff shortages, funding cuts and and spiralling workloads.
A spokeswoman for the Educational Institute of Scotland said: “In recent years, we have observed an increase in casework related to mental health issues.
“This is an extremely worrying trend, which coincides with significant reductions in the funding of education, and deep cuts to staffing levels across the education sector.
2,460 cases of work-related stress per 100,000 teachers across the UK last year
“The severe workload pressure that is increasingly being placed on staff is a likely contributory factor in the growing number of stress-related mental health issues that members are reporting.”
On Monday, the Press and Journal revealed that teachers across the north-east are increasingly coming under physical attack from pupils, with weapons such as BB guns and a saw being used.
Aberdeen City Council confirmed it had logged more than 1,000 assault incidents during the previous two school years.
The overall time taken off due to stress between last July and this August was the equivalent of three full school years.
Across the city, 14 teachers on stress leave remained out of the classroom for more than 28 days – with the average time taken off estimated as 50 days.
Ryan Houghton, vice-convener of the council’s staff governance committee, said the authority was doing all it could to ensure teachers are well enough to work.
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He added that “comprehensive procedures” existed to track absences and that any teachers ill with stress are being offered counselling, while other sessions are run to combat problems among staff before things reach that point.
Recent figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed that there were 2,460 cases of work-related stress per 100,000 teachers across the UK last year.
A spokesman said: “Work-related stress, depression or anxiety continues to represent a significant problem for the country’s workforce.
“Stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education and health.”