Cost of living: A support staff exodus

As the cost of living crisis bites, half of support staff are actively looking for other jobs. Many don’t want to quit, but feel they have no choice, says Joanna Parry

Recent research from UNISON lays bare the devastating impact that the cost of living crisis is having on school support staff, pupils and the wider education system.

A UK-wide survey of more than 6,000 teaching assistants, administrative staff, catering workers, cleaners, librarians and technicians found that despite being squeezed financially themselves, staff are using their own money to help pupils and their families.

They are buying food for hungry pupils and contributing towards the cost of uniforms, shoes and stationery. We have also seen reports of some headteachers setting up food banks due to the rising rates of pupil poverty. The figures are shocking.

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