new research by the Liberal Democrats revealed today.
New figures, based on the latest official sickness statistics, show that
equivalent to the salaries of 17,000 teachers or the cost of building 48
Commenting, Phil Willis, Liberal Democrat shadow education secretary,
said: 'Our children need teachers that are fit and well and in the
'Labour's policies are having a disastrous effect on our teachers' health
which in turn is undermining the education of our children.
'If the cost of cover continues to rise many schools may decide that they
can no longer afford cover. Children will end up in overcrowded classrooms
being taught by teachers covering subjects they are not qualified in.'
Table 1 of School Workforce in England: Provisional Teacher Sickness
Absence in 2003 and Teacher Ethnicity 2004, published last week and
available here, shows that in 2003 the total number of sickness days taken by
teachers was 2,853,500. An increase of 114,200 days on 2002 and 350,200 on
1999 (the earliest year for which figures are available on the DfES
Figures supplied by the House of Commons library show that the average
cost of hiring a supply teacher to provide one day's cover is£120-145.
2,853,500 multiplied by£120 =£342.4m
2,853,500 multiplied by£145 =£413.8m
Therefore the annual cost to schools of providing cover for teacher
sickness could be as little as£342.4m, but as much as£413.8m.
£342.4m divided by 365 days =£938,082
£413.8m divided by 365 days =£1.13m
Therefore the daily cost to schools of providing cover for teacher
sickness could be as little as£938,082, but as much as£1.13m.
According to the DfES' guide on building costs the highest gross capital
cost for a building a school was£8.7m.
£413.8m divided by£8.7m = 47.6.
House of Commons library note SN/SG/1680 states that the average pay for a
primary school teacher is£23,300 and for a secondary school teacher is
The average teacher salary is therefore£24,000.£413.8m divided by£24,000
= 17,242 additional teachers.