Exhausted, poverty-stricken teachers say: ‘We can’t go on like this’

Last Updated: April 8, 2024By Tags: , , , , , , ,

Isn’t it strange how some news stories come out at exactly the wrong time? This one is more than a week old – because teachers had to have their conference when they weren’t teaching – but is more relevant now, as parents send their kids back to school.

So here’s the Morning Star‘s front page for March 29, setting out the broad strokes of the story:

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Here’s a link to the story…

… but here’s the gist:

Teachers backed a campaign for pay restoration and improved conditions at NASUWT’s annual conference today.

Classroom teachers’ starting salaries plunged by 21 per cent in real terms, using RPI inflation, between 2010 and 2023, according to the union.

The deal also includes stronger measures to protect teachers from violence, assault or harassment, a national framework of statutory, contractual conditions of service including a maximum 35-hour working time limit and equal rights for supply and substitute teachers.

The Mirror focused on the fact that most teachers want to leave the profession:

From the article:

A poll of more than 7,000 NASUWT members in England between January and March, found nearly three in four (73%) have seriously considered throwing in the towel in the past year.

Among those who considered leaving, half blamed pay for their decision. Nearly nine in ten (89%) said they were worried about their finances, as around one in 10 (11%) have had to take on a second job. More than one in four (28%) said they have had to increase their use of credit or apply for a payday loan in the last 12 months.

Around 40,000 teachers abandoned the profession last year – around 9% of the workforce – according to Department for Education (DfE) statistics.

The Department for Education dribbled a lot of tripe at the Mirror‘s reporters:

A DfE spokesperson said: “We now have more teachers than ever before, with over 468,000 teachers in the workforce, a 27,000 increase on 2010. In 2023 we delivered the largest teacher pay award in over 30 years, and a minimum starting salary of £30,000.

So with 27,000 joining but 40,000 out, that’s a net loss of 13,000 teachers, whichever way you look at it.

And why should anyone consider teaching a worthwhile profession when the minimum starting salary is five grand less than the national average of £35k?

So when your kid comes home complaining about short-tempered teachers who don’t seem to have time for them, be kind.

Every teacher is fighting a hard battle just to maintain any standard of education at all – in the face of a government that is actively undermining them. Your best course of action is to vote out that Tory government – and block the Labour government-in-waiting that won’t be any better.

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