Teachers turn to emergency handouts to cope with public spending squeeze

Supply staff are being hit hard, charity reveals, with grants going to pay for housing and food

Growing numbers of teachers are being forced to accept emergency cash handouts to help pay for food, accommodation and clothing.

Cash crises are particularly hitting stand-in supply teachers – many of whom do not receive any pay during the long summer holiday break – according to new figures released to The Independent.

Data from the Teacher Support Network, a charity set up to help teachers in hardship, shows that £120,000 in grants were awarded to struggling teachers in the academic year September 2012 to June 2013.

These included 77 awards to teachers who were unable to afford their own food or accommodation. Of the grants issued, 28 per cent were awarded to supply teachers.

In previous years the majority of the grants handed out by the charity went to help teachers buy whitegoods – washing machines or fridge freezers – for homes they had just moved into. Staff at the TSN say there has been a marked shift towards grants being given for essentials. Of £11,672 awarded to supply staff, 65 per cent went towards food, accommodation, utility bills and clothes.

Supply staff may have to wait for Criminal Records Bureau checks to be completed before they can start work in the new term. They may also have to meet the cost of CRB checks – £44 a time – themselves. One teacher told The Independent she had had to have nine separate CRB checks for the agencies she had signed on with.

A separate survey by TSN showed that 80 per cent of teachers were finding it harder to manage their finances in 2012-13 than in previous years as a result of three years of the public sector pay squeeze.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: “Local authorities and academy trusts have a duty of care to their employees. Supply teachers’ contracts are agreed directly with the employer. Average teacher pay has increased since May 2010 and currently stands at £34,200 a year.”

Case study

Rose, 49, lost her supply teaching contract at a middle school in June. She had just been going through a divorce and her former partner could not make any payments for the cost of the house.

She had a second string in her bow – special needs teaching – but this often meant travelling three hours a day.

She approached the TSN for help and was advised to declare herself bankrupt and was given a grant of £150 to help meet her costs. She is grateful to the TSN for its help and believes it was the best possible advice she could have received.

All is not yet plain sailing. She is still waiting for the results of her Criminal Records Bureau checks before she can start working in her new location. “I have had to have nine checks with different agencies since I started supply teaching,” she said. But she is in a better place than some others.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Nursery Pre School Practitioner

£6 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued expansion, they are loo...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development & Relationship Manager

£45000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development & Relati...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant - Startup

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Personal Assistant is require...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)