Teachers forced to ask for handouts

Growing numbers of teachers are applying for grants from a charity and the majority are finding it harder to get by financially, as a result of three years of public sector pay squeeze.

Data from the Teacher Support Network shows that 80% of teachers found it harder to manage their finances last year than previously and the charity awarded £120,000 to teachers who couldn’t make ends meet, The Independent reports. That may represent just the tip of a financial iceberg, as applicants have to agree to debt counselling and then go through a stringent application process before receiving any support.

Last year 77 awards were made to teachers who couldn’t afford their own food or accommodation; previously the majority of grants were used to buy white goods like fridge freezers or washing machines after moving home.

Just over a quarter of grants went to supply teachers, who may have to wait for DBS checks to be completed before they can start work. 65% of grants awarded to them went towards essentials like food, accommodation, utility bills and clothes.

Are you finding it hard to pay for the essentials? If so, who is to blame? Share your views with the Eteach community!

6 thoughts on “Teachers forced to ask for handouts

  1. I suspect there is more to this story than what is written. As a mature NQT with a family to support I understand how repeated DBS applications can be expensive but with the new subscription service, £13 is all you’ll need to pay for a year now so this should help. I’m guessing that these applications for not for day-today food/heating requirements but for one-off situations like moving home or changing jobs when the applicant has no recourse to The Bank of Mum and Dad or similar. To be honest, if you can’t get by on a minimum of 21.5k per annum then perhaps lessons on managing finances ought to be part of ITE as there are families getting buy on a fraction of this at the moment.

  2. Yes it certainly is difficult to make ends meet at the moment but I don’t think it’s just teachers who are suffering. In my own case I’ve even sold all the jewellery I had to make ends meet over the last few months. Colleagues have taken to car boot events to make some money to get by. I think the squeeze on finance is really beginning to bite everyone – not sure how people with young children are managing.

  3. We could see this coming 3 years ago, so in September 2011 we left for life as an expat teacher family, and although we have gone without a great deal, family, friends etc. It has been a great financial decision.

  4. I have 3 children aged 11, 10 and 8 the oldest who has just started at secondary school. I am a full time teacher on the upper pay scale and we can only just afford to pay all the bills each month. My wife is a TA but is unable to get a job as she is “too old” at 43. We are called a profession but treated like dirt. Something needs to change

  5. Ridiculous! As a teenager I was briefly homeless when a live-in job at a holiday camp ended. As a wife and young mum I raised two children while we were on family credit after my husband got made redundant. As a divorcee I did supply teaching and also cleaned toilets in McDonalds to make ends meet. When supply teaching dried up due to TAs being allowed to become cover supervisors, I came out of teaching and did admin and warehouse work. How people can moan about not making ends meet is beyond me … Cut down the luxuries or get off your bum. As for age, I got a ta job at 46 and now have a teaching job as a 47 yr old nqt. I agree it is not as easy to find work as you get older but age is only a barrier if you let it be, just keep trying. Some employers value maturity.

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