TEACHERS in England are subsidising education out of their own pockets because government cuts have left schools without sufficient funds for basics including books, stationery and arts materials, the National Education Union (NEU) revealed yesterday.
Parents are also being asked to help pay for redecorating and even toilet paper.
An overwhelming 94 per cent of the 1,800 respondents used their own money to pay for classroom kit in the last school year, with individual staffing spending between £101 and £500 a year.
One head of English at a south-coast secondary school said: “We are being asked to pay for paper towels to dry hands and wipe up spillages.
“We are also increasingly bringing in our own computers, as there is no money to update the aged machines in the school.”
A head of department at a secondary said: “I have had to buy food for students staying for coursework and revision sessions and equipment for activities days.”
And a primary teacher said: “There is a constant shortage and rationing of paper and laminating sheets and it’s just simpler to buy your own than fight for basics.”
NEU joint general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: “Staff have always been willing to spend some of their own money for the odd item such as prizes for children, but the funding cuts are digging deep.
“And it is wrong to rely on the goodwill of staff, who have seen their own pay fall over the past 10 years, to meet the shortfall.
“The government needs to fund schools adequately so children can enjoy a full curriculum in properly resourced schools.”
The Tories have claimed they will give schools an extra £1.3 billion — by slashing other parts of the education budget.
Parents are also being asked to pay for school running costs, again for essentials such as toilet paper.