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Angela Rayner: teachers resorting to food banks to survive

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    ‘Teachers are turning to food banks to feed their families, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner has warned.

    Her remarks were made at a rally held in Westminster today, where campaigners had gathered as part of a mass lobby of MPs over school funding.

    Ms Rayner said: "It's an absolute tragedy that we have headteachers now having to run marathons where they used to run them for charity to give funds to their school."

    "It's really devastating when we have letters going home to parents asking them to provide what the state should provide within our education system.

    "It's disappointing that so many teachers have had to leave the profession because of the strain that they have been put under. It's disappointing you've had to write those letters to parents."’


    Do you know a teacher who is struggling financially? Are the senior school staff aware of the hardship that some staff are facing and is there a plan in place to help them or find the help they need?
  2. zizzyballoon

    zizzyballoon Star commenter

    I don't get this. Why would anyone be mad enough to run a marathon to raise funds for their school? They certainly don't have to. And why are teachers relying on food banks? Don't they get paid enough to live on? I can see that they might not get enough to splash out on. But surely food banks are for the absolutely desperate. This is posturing by Angela Rayner.
    Alldone likes this.

    SEBREGIS Senior commenter

    No, this is a very real situation. Given the cost of rents, the declining real term pay of teachers, it does not take a lot to move you from a basic subsistence level to something below that. I've known teachers who have done other jobs like bar work and delivering newspapers to make ends meet.

    As for running a marathon to support your school - why not? How is that actually worse than working a 60 hour week for no extra reward because 'someone has to, for the children'.
    schoolsout4summer and Mrsmumbles like this.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Urrr... Yes, running a marathon would be far, far worse than working even 60 hours a week.

    (Not that I did the latter, either. 50 maybe...)
  5. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Can't think where they would find the time.
  6. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    If the HT is on say £100k pa + they could perhaps take a pay cut... then reinvest funds into school, alternatively they could increase their teaching timetable and minimise meetings and unnecessary changes. *Awaits backlash from those suggestions.
    drek and Mrsmumbles like this.
  7. Jenkibubble

    Jenkibubble Occasional commenter

    I'm guessing that those resorting to food banks are probably those living in places which are expensive to live (London namely) or perhaps those where the teacher salary is the main one. It is awful, and needs to be addressed (possibly through rent reductions for key workers etc )
  8. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    Or people who still feel themselves teachers, but have been forced out or onto ever decreasing supply.
  9. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    If mine was the only salary and I had children, I would definitely struggle due to the cost of housing in my area. I can definitely believe this.
  10. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    We're constantly short of money for a variety of (interlinked) reasons:
    1. we live in the south-east to be nearer to our poorly parents. Rent is very, very high.
    2. Mine is the only salary in the house and although it's not bad, it's remained stagnant for seven years while every single outgoing has increased by a lot: food has gone up (A LOT), gas and electricity costs, diesel for the car, council tax etc.
    3. Now our children are school-age, the costs have increased enormously - school uniform, shoes, trips and visits, PE kits, basic equipment, school photos, friends' birthday parties etc. add up and, when your wage is completely stagnant, that means going without. My jeans have a huge hole along the seam and I cannot justify spending £20 on another pair when Siren Child 1 needs new school shoes.
    4. My salary won't go up until I either join SLT (and I still have a soul so that's unlikely) or until schools have enough money to implement the 1%+ increase. Schools around me have pegged the 1% rise to performance management targets so if you miss your progress target by half a per cent, you don't get the rise. They can do this as they're academies. Targets are extremely difficult to get so some of my friends at nearby schools haven't even had the 1% rise for five years or more.

    In the short term, it's manageable and my husband will go back to work once all the children are full-time in school. However, it is very tight and we're lucky that our landlord hasn't put the rent up lately. I can understand why people living in an expensive area such as London would really struggle, especially if they have to pay childcare costs.
    emerald52 and drek like this.
  11. gigaswitch1

    gigaswitch1 Occasional commenter

    Bit contentious; but, I bet they still have a mobile phone and broadband. When my mum was skint, back in the day, we were not allowed a TV because of the licence fee.
    drek likes this.
  12. SomethingWicked

    SomethingWicked Occasional commenter

    Again, a bit contentious, but I would rather go to a food-bank than cut internet. My bank (and I think utilities too) charges for paper statements, so internet access saves me a couple of quid a month there. Shopping around online is almost always cheaper than the high street for non-urgent goods. Moreover, in households with kids, the cost of them going online and chatting to their mates is a lot lower than them meeting in person (where they'll either be loitering trouble and/or spending money!). Most kids also teach themselves stuff on Youtube and self-education is a decent way out of the poverty trap. Not to mention a load of their education requires/expects internet access and yes there are libraries and school facilities but it's hard enough getting kids to do their homework as it is... Anyway!

    I'd sooner cut off hot water and heating before the internet. Internet saves me more money a month than it costs, I'm certain of it. The fact we're even discussing this for a graduate profession is nuts though.
  13. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I am the only wage earner for my family and my son has just gone to university. I would describe my financial situation as perilous. I do have the Internet as I couldn't really plan at home without it. I don't drink or go out. I'm not at the food bank stage yet but could get there quite easily.
    frangipani123, emerald52 and drek like this.
  14. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    I've just started a non teaching job. The pay is about twice what I'd pulled in over the last couple of years on supply. In fact just prior to starting this job I was doing some 1:1 support through my agency, not teacher money but if I'd done that full time for the academic year that would have been more money than the last two years on supply.
    emerald52, needabreak and lanokia like this.
  15. Sebmum

    Sebmum New commenter

    As a single parent in a high rent area, my rent is roughly 50% of my wages. Wages have fallen in real terms, costs are ever increasing. After bills (yes I do have broadband) I am left with about £100 a week for myself and three teenagers. That must pay for food, clothes, bus fares to school, school trips etc. We don't put the heating on. I never go out, don't drink and wear clothes other people give me. I am fully aware that should there be an expensive problem occur- such as the car needing repairing or even a trip to the dentist I have no money to pay this.

    So yes, I can see how teachers may be resorting to food banks.
    frangipani123 and emerald52 like this.
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Yes it is awful, I've seen it...even independent schools are cutting salaries to the bone. I know three great teachers who have families in expensive areas and wanted to stay but have now bitten the bullet. They've emigrated for the foreseeable future. More brain drain. There will soon be little pockets of China, South Korea, New Zealand and the UAE which are as English as Bognor Regis! Why on earth would anyone even half as selfless as the average teacher stick the **** salaries, hours and below subsistence level London pay? London, yep, where the shortages are severe. Another Tory success! Answer is that they don't. Now that teaching is no longer a sustainable career, this really puts the knife in. Knighthoods and bonuses all round, my little Tory chummies......
    emerald52 and guinnesspuss like this.
  17. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Which is why 'UAE is the place to be'...short term, at least. Lots go out for five years, then return with their mortgage deposits.
  18. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Yep! Agree totally. You can also make a fair few quid buying and selling and freegling online. And talking on TES, of course! Well worth it.
    frangipani123 and emerald52 like this.
  19. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    Was your mum a teacher?
    I would suggest that mobile phones and the internet are a necessary part of any professional's kit these days. Perhaps the employer should pay something towards them, as such...
    emerald52, drek, vannie and 1 other person like this.
  20. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Mrs B and I make between £150 and £180 a month doing online surveys. That's without the freebies we get as well.This month it was a Morphy Richards slow cooker with built in stirrer!

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