Support staff seek work elsewhere as pay in schools is too low

A significant minority of school support staff, including teaching assistants, say they are seeking alternative work because of persistent low pay and the rising cost of living.

Survey findings from UNISON show that 42 per cent of its members, which include teaching assistants, caretakers, cleaners and other school support staff in England and Wales, are actively looking for better paid work.

The findings, based on responses from 6,398 support staff, reveal that monthly take-home pay after tax can be as little as £800 to £999 (17 per cent), £1,000 to £1,199 (31 per cent), or £1,200 to £1,399 (21 per cent).

Respondents to the survey paint a bleak picture of living with no heating or hot water because of broken boilers they can’t afford to fix, worrying about how to pay for dental treatment, relying on their children for money, or going to food banks.

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