Teachers sick for longer periods due to burnout, says report
Flanders’ teachers are sick for longer periods of time than in previous years, due to an increased workload and ever-increasing diversity in the classroom, according to the education department’s annual report
Most sick days in five years
The biggest causes of absenteeism were psychosocial conditions such as stress, burnout and depression. More than one in three sick days (36.4%) were attributed to these problems compared to 33.5% in 2013. In comparison, psychological problems cause one-quarter of staff sick leave at federal government institutions.
Older teachers in particular suffer from work pressure, although increasingly more teachers in their 30s and 40s are also taking time off because of psychosocial afflictions. Teachers in secondary education run the biggest risk of having the problem.
According to education experts, teachers suffer more quickly from burnout because they have to “perform” every day alone in front of the classroom. Increasing diversity and larger numbers of students with special needs are also increasing their risk of stress and burnout. Teachers also cite the burden of paperwork as a stressor at work.
Education minister Hilde Crevits said that the report’s insights will play a role in negotiations on the ongoing teachers’ career pact, which is being developed to help teachers remain in the job until retirement.
million school-going children in 2013
million euros Flemish education budget for new school infrastructures in 2013
percent of boys leaving secondary school without a diploma