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Union warns of ‘imminent’ crisis as most teachers consider quitting

Seven in 10 teachers considered leaving their job in the last 12 months, survey finds

Emily Atkinson
Friday 15 April 2022 00:12 BST

A teaching union has called on the government to give teachers a significant pay rise, warning that a retention crisis is “imminent” as the cost of living crisis bites.

In advance of its annual conference in Birmingham over the weekend, the Nasuwt said that over half of the members it surveyed said they had been cutting back on food spending just to get by.

It reports that some resorted to using food banks as a means of coping with the soaring cost of living in the UK and many are considering leaving the teaching profession if pay does not improve.

Seven in 10 teachers considered leaving their job in the last 12 months, a Nasuwt survey found. Meanwhile, nearly half said that their pay was affecting their intention to leave.

In addition, the survey revealed that 54 per cent of teachers had reduced their spending on food, while 40 per cent had cut back outgoings on essential household items.

A shocking one in 10 said they had to take on a second job to make ends meet.

Elsewhere, the National Education Union surveyed a total of 1,788 teachers ahead of its respective annual conference in Bournemouth, which found that 44 per cent planned to leave the profession by 2027, while 22 per cent said they would leave within two years.

Nasuwt’s general secretary, Patrick Roach, said: “Teachers across the UK, and at every stage of their career, are seriously questioning if they can afford to continue another year in the education profession without a pay uplift that meets the sky-rocketing cost of living.

“The government has continuously failed to heed teachers’ warnings that the toll of 12 years of pay erosion and successive pay freezes can no longer be endured.

“Now we are living with the bleak reality of teachers having no choice but to seek second jobs, cut back on essential supplies such as food and even relying on the assistance of food banks.

“With seven in 10 teachers considering leaving the profession entirely, the government must urgently secure the future of education by delivering a programme of pay restoration which recognises and values the work of teachers and headteachers.

“Teachers are united in their demands for a better deal for teachers to restore teaching as an attractive and competitive career.”

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said: “We now have over 460,000 inspiring teachers in our classrooms across the country, which is 20,000 more than in 2010.

“Our latest proposals on teacher pay set out how we will deliver a £30,000 starting salary for teachers by 2023/24, as well as the highest experienced-teacher pay award since 2006 in 2022/23.

“We understand that the rising cost of living is of concern to people across the country. We continue to balance rewarding teachers for their hard work – and attracting the brightest and the best into the profession – with a pay system that is appropriate and affordable for the taxpayer.”

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