30 Nov 2023

Addressing the Crisis of Teacher Absence in the UK

The United Kingdom faces an escalating crisis in education, one that demands immediate attention and action. A surge in teacher absence rates is not only placing a significant burden on schools but also affecting the quality and consistency of education provided to our children. 


According to the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are over 2.5 million individuals in the UK currently dealing with prolonged illness [i]. In the educational sector, the impact of this crisis is keenly felt as teacher absences have surged to unprecedented levels, leading to disruptions in the learning environment. 


The consequences of this crisis are multi-fold: 


Financial Strain: Schools are grappling with increased financial burdens as they struggle to cover for absent teachers, often resorting to costly supply teachers or direct hiring of staff to meet the demand. 


Lost Productivity: Teacher absences are not just numbers on a report; they translate into disrupted learning environments that have a direct impact on students’ academic progress and overall development. 


Pressure on Existing Staff: As schools seek to cope with teacher absences, the existing staff members face mounting workloads. This additional pressure on educators can lead to burnout, negatively affecting both teachers and the quality of education. 


The crisis in teacher absence rates is a complex issue that calls for immediate attention and a collective effort to find sustainable solutions. To address this challenge, it is essential for stakeholders in the education sector to work collaboratively and implement effective strategies for managing teacher absences. 


At Activ People HR, we are committed to supporting schools and educational institutions in their efforts to navigate this crisis. We offer advanced HR solutions designed to streamline HR management tasks, including efficient teacher absence management, and provide real-time insights into employee attendance. Our software empowers schools to save time and resources, thereby ensuring a smoother HR operation. 


The time to act is now. As we raise awareness about the crisis of teacher absence in the UK, we must also proactively seek out and implement strategies that will help our educational institutions recover and thrive. Our children’s education is at stake, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that they receive the quality learning experiences they deserve. 


Statistic Sources:

[i] Office for National Statistics (2023). Rising ill-health and economic inactivity because of long-term sickness, UK: 2019 to 2023. Available at: www.ons.gov.uk/