Teachers took an average six days off sick each last year, resulting in an estimated 2.8 million days lost to sickness, according to provisional figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Around 56 per cent of the teaching workforce took some sickness absence in 2001, up 1 per cent on the previous year.
The numbers of teachers taking sick days rose to 283,600, the third consecutive annual rise. Those taking sickness absence were likely to be off an average 10 days.
London and the North West were the worst hit areas, with 43,200 and 39,800 staff respectively taking days off sick.
The North West also suffered badly when it came to days lost to sickness absence, incurring 394,500, with Yorkshire and the Humber also doing badly, with 359,900 lost days.