1 in 10 UK teachers taking on multiple jobs to eat and survive
A report shows that stress is at crisis levels with more than half of teachers contemplating leaving their jobs in education.
According to the NASUWT teachers’ union, one in 10 teachers are resorting to working a second or third job because their teaching pay doesn’t cover their monthly expenses, and even heads of schools warn that the most recent 5% pay rise still won't cover the basic costs of living.
Chief executive of the Galaxy Trust that manages nine schools in Kent, Garry Ratcliffe, said: “At one of my schools, as well as those doing private tutoring, I’ve got a teacher who has to dance at the weekend in a Greek restaurant, a teacher working as a farm hand, and one doing shifts in a bar.”
Ratcliffe said they had to do so “to keep eating”, adding further that alongside an existing food bank for students' families, an emergency free food cupboard in the staff room has been established as well.
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“It’s there for staff in need to take food without judgment. That cupboard has to be refilled every day.” This is beginning to take a toll on teachers' mental health and happiness at work, Ratcliffe expressed: “They are worrying about money, there is a greater reliance on public transport as some can’t afford to run their cars. This is about working to survive, not working to thrive.”
Despite dealing with “unprecedented workloads”, the General Secretary of NASUWT, Patrick Roach said that more teachers were having to take on “precarious gig economy work”, adding: “Our members say they are burnt out from working harder for less, with many barely scraping by and considering how much longer they can afford to keep teaching,”
In a report due to be published Tuesday by the Education Support charity, it is shown that stress is at crisis levels with more than half of teachers contemplating leaving their jobs in education.
The charity's chief executive, Sinéad Mc Brearty, stated that hardship grants have been doubled this year by the charity to teachers, not just through support in food but in "rent or mortgage payments, bills and travel to work.”
One exhibit is a community school physics teacher in London, Oliver Taylor, who took on the job of repairing people’s cars and private tutoring to pay bills. “My salary makes me feel totally undervalued,” he said. “I’m a really good teacher and I’m teaching a subject where there are huge shortages, and I just don’t earn enough to make ends meet. I chose to work in a challenging school, and it feels good being there. But it’s hand to mouth all the time.”
According to a spokesperson for the Department for Education, the government “confirmed the highest pay awards for a generation” this year, in addition to an 8.9% increase for new teachers. The spokesperson added: “We understand the pressures many teachers, like the rest of society, are facing at the moment due to the challenge of high inflation.”
Close to a third of single parents have resorted to skipping meals to make ends meet because of rising food costs, according to research revealing the household types worst hit by the cost of living crisis.
In a survey of single-parent households, three out of ten reported missing meals as a result of skyrocketing food prices, compared with an overall 14% and one in seven parents in couples in the poll conducted by the consumer group Which?
It's noteworthy that the UK economy witnessed an 11% drop in 2022, the biggest since the Office for National Statistics (ONS) began keeping records, and the UK’s largest GDP slump since 1709, the year of the ‘Great Frost,’ when the country’s economy shrank by 13.4%, according to historical data provided by the Bank of England last August.