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Teachers so badly paid they struggle to keep up with their household bills, union warns

TEACHERS in England are so badly paid that they struggle to keep up with their household bills, Britain’s biggest teaching union warns.

In a survey of its members, published today, the National Education Union (NEU) found 85 per cent said they are underpaid, given their skills, qualifications and workload.

Only 7 per cent said that their pay is fair, and 56 per cent were either “very” or “extremely” worried about keeping up with household bills and finances.

Between September 2010 and September 2023, the cost of living as measured by the retail price index (RPI) rose by 68 per cent.

Teachers’ pay outside London rose by just 27 per cent over the same period.

The union said teachers had “suffered deep and lasting real-terms pay cuts on any measure.”

NEU general secretary Daniel Kebede said: “This survey once again highlights the damage done by government attacks on teacher pay since 2010.

“Teachers are right to feel undervalued, given their skills, professionalism and the level of responsibility they bear in educating children and young people.

“Pay levels do not properly value teachers. This creates major recruitment and retention problems. This is no way to value teachers. 

“We need an urgent, properly funded and major correction in teacher pay — not only to stop teachers worrying about how to pay their bills, but also to protect our education service by fixing the recruitment and retention crisis. 

“This essential correction in pay is therefore in the interests not only of teachers themselves, but also of parents and children.”

The Department for Education was contacted for comment.

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