LONDON teachers warned yesterday of a mass exodus from the capital due to the acute housing crisis.
Sixty per cent of newly qualified teachers surveyed by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said that they could not see themselves still working in schools in the capital in five years’ time.
Nearly two-thirds of the respondents said that high living costs would be the main reason for leaving, and there were fears too that their students’ families are also being priced out from the capital — or trapped renting unsuitable homes. Rent for a one-bedroom flat costs about £1,600 a month, while a newly qualified teacher takes home £1,600 a month.
One teacher told the NUT: “We are five people sharing a three-bedroom flat. This is the only way we can keep the costs down.”
Another interviewee described home: “It’s noisy, horrible and with holes in the walls, but it’s all that I can afford.”
NUT London regional secretary Martin Powell-Davies said: “It is quite clear that if teachers cannot afford to live in London they will take their skills elsewhere.”
Ahead of last night’s mayoral hustings attended by Labour candidate Sadiq Khan and Tory hopeful Zac Goldsmith, the union’s general secretary Christine Blower said that the new mayor needs to tackle unaffordable housing.
The Institute for Public Policy Research’s London housing commission report has slammed the Tories’ so-called “starter homes” scheme in which properties would cost up to £450,000, well beyond the reach of the workers who keep the capital running.
Shadow housing minister John Healey praised the report, saying Labour agrees that these “starter homes” should not be built “against the wishes of local councils at the expense of affordable homes to rent and buy.”