Staff sickness absence data

See the latest national statistics on teacher sickness absence, and learn how you can benchmark your school's sickness absence data with that of other schools.

Last reviewed on 19 April 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 7670
  1. National sickness absence statistics 
  2. Benchmark your school's data
  3. More support on staff absence

National sickness absence statistics 

Teacher sickness absence statistics 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2020/21
Percentage of teachers taking sickness absence 54.5 54.8 54.4 54.1 45.0
Days sick per teacher* 4.1 4.1 4.0 4.1 3.9
Days sick per teacher taking sickness absence* 7.5 7.4 7.4 7.5 8.6
Number of teachers taking sickness absence  275,840 271,048 269,345 275,646 229,898
Total days sickness absence taken  2,062,487 2,005,371 2,001,033 2,070,491 1,971,300

The data is taken from the DfE's school workforce in England data, through the 'create your own table' tool. To see for yourself, select:

  1. Publication: select 'School workforce in England'
  2. Choose a subject: select 'Teacher absences'
  3. Choose locations: select 'England' (under 'national')
  4. Choose time period: select the years you're interested in from the drop-down menu
  5. Choose your filters: select all 5 filters

‘Days sick per teacher’ is the sickness absence rate averaged out across all teachers in service, irrespective of whether they took any sickness absence ‘Days sick per teacher taking sickness absence’ is the average number of days sick taken by those teachers who had at least 1 period of sickness