According to a survey of teachers, seven out of 10 teachers in England considered resigning last year, with more than half citing pay as the main reason.
More than half of those surveyed said they were forced to reduce their spending on food, while one in 10 took a second job and others resorted to food banks and other charitable aids.
The NASUWT teachers’ union, which conducted a survey of 11,000 teachers ahead of its national conference in Birmingham on Easter weekend, said there would be an “unprecedented recruitment and retention crisis” without significant pay increases.
The government has promised to raise the salaries of newly qualified teachers in state schools, raising them from 25 25,000 to ,000 30,000 by 2024, a promise the Conservative Party made in its 2019 election manifesto.
But for teachers who have been in the classroom or in a senior role for more than five years, the salary increase will come at a much lower cost. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, these teachers will face a 5% actual pay cut over the next two years instead.
Delegates at the NASUWT conference will debate a proposal calling for possible industrial action if the government does not want to discuss teachers’ salaries.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed complained about their salaries and said they felt the government was treating them unfairly. Only 1% said the perceived teacher pay scale was right.
As the crisis of life began to subside, nearly nine out of 10 (89%) said they were very worried or somewhat worried about their financial situation. Seven out of 10 (68%) have reduced clothing costs, about a quarter (24%) have either increased their credit usage or applied for a payday loan, and more than half (56%) have lost savings.
11% of those surveyed said they took a second job and only 3% resorted to food banks or other charitable aids.
Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of NASUWT, said: “Teachers across the UK and at every stage of their careers are seriously questioning whether they can afford to continue one more year in the teaching profession without a pay rise that could meet skyrocketing costs. Alive
“The government has consistently failed to warn teachers that the 12-year salary cuts and continuous pay cut tolls can no longer be tolerated. We are now living in a dark reality where teachers have no choice but to look for a second job, cut back on food supplies and even rely on food bank assistance. “
Shadow School Minister Stephen Morgan says Labor is committed to hiring thousands of new teachers to fill vacancies. “The subsequent Conservative government and the two years of chaos during the epidemic have put pressure on school staff, leading to a record number of school dropouts.
“School staff is being invested in the learning and development of children. Among failed teachers, conservatives are failing our children. “
The pre-conference resolution this weekend states that “unless significant pay increases and restructuring for teachers, a huge recruitment and retention problem in the teaching profession will continue.” It adds: “The conference is concerned that we have lost many teachers in the first five years of their careers and that teaching should be an attractive profession in contrast to other undergraduate professions that reward and celebrate experience through fair and equitable pay.”
A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “Our latest proposals on teacher salaries set out how we will pay £ 30,000 starting salary for teachers by 2023/24, as well as the highest paid teacher salary award from 2006 to 2022/23.
“We understand that the rising cost of living is a matter of concern for people across the country. We balance rewarding teachers for their hard work – and attract the brightest and best in the profession – a pay system that is appropriate and affordable for taxpayers. “