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
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Sunday 15 September 2013
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.”
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.
Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Kate Upton nude photos leak: Model's spokespeople 'looking into' authenticity of indecent images
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Creche Assistant to start asap ...
£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Nursery Nurse Leeds We are now ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Deputy Education Manager (permanent ...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently recr...