School administrators report more absenteeism

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A teacher in an elementary school. © Sebastian Gollnow/dpa

A survey indicates that there have been more sick leave reports from teachers since the pandemic began. But Corona is not the only reason.

Berlin – Almost all school administrations in Germany report additional burdens on teachers due to the corona pandemic – and many are of the opinion that illness-related absences of school staff have increased in recent years.

In a representative survey by the opinion research institute Forsa for the VBE education union presented on Monday, 97 percent of the headmasters stated that, in their opinion, the demands on the teaching staff had increased again during the time of the corona pandemic.

More headmasters than in the last survey in 2019 also believed that longer periods of absenteeism among teachers had increased. According to this, 50 percent had the impression that the number of colleagues who had been absent due to mental or physical illnesses had increased in recent years. In 2019, 36 percent felt absenteeism due to physical illness had increased and 37 percent saw an increase in absenteeism due to mental illness.

The proportion of school principals who believe that “almost all” or “most” teachers are faced with additional workloads due to “new challenges and requirements in everyday school life, e.g. e.g. through inclusion, integration or other developments”.

“The ongoing overload even before Corona and the enormous additional effort in the pandemic are making teachers increasingly ill,” said Udo Beckmann, chairman of the Education and Training Association (VBE). “If a rethinking doesn’t take place as soon as possible, the schools are financed according to need and the shortage of teachers is addressed, sooner or later the “school house of cards” will collapse.” dpa

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