One in three young teachers says housing situation ‘affects ability to do job’

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Nearly one in three young teachers says their housing situation has affected their ability to do their job, a survey suggests.

Nearly three in four (71%) young teachers surveyed said the cost of housing has made them consider whether they will stay in the profession in the long term, according to a poll by the NASUWT teaching union.

The poll, of nearly 1,100 NASUWT members aged 30 and under across the UK, suggests 29% have left a previous teaching job or considered leaving their current post due to housing costs.

The findings have been released ahead of the union’s annual conference in Glasgow over the Easter weekend.

One teacher who responded to the survey said: “I am a single parent and I have to now work two jobs in order to keep a roof over myself and my child’s head.

“I have to spend less time on my teaching efforts and put this time into working a second job.”

Another said: “I can’t buy what I need for my classroom (glue sticks, books, pens, rulers, pencils etc), therefore some lessons students can’t write or participate because they don’t have the resources they need.”

Two in three (66%) said they have seen their mortgage or rent go up in the last 12 months.

Among these, the majority said they have had to cut back spending on food (70%) and heating (63%).

One teacher said: “Living in a cold and damp static caravan (especially through winter) means I have picked up more illness such as colds etc than ever before.

“Through the winter I have had to sleep in onesies, tracksuits and hoodies.”

Delegates at the NASUWT conference are to debate a motion which calls on the union to campaign for the creation and extension of discount schemes for rental and first-time buyers of at least 30% below market prices in areas where teachers struggle to afford suitable housing.

Nearly nine in 10 (88%) young NASUWT members supported the call.

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “No teacher should have to consider leaving or be unable to apply for a teaching post because they can’t afford to put a roof over their head.

“For the past decade the Government have failed to address the shortage of affordable housing and this has been made worse by huge real-term cuts to teachers’ pay.

“The lack of affordable homes to buy and rent is having significant negative effects on schools’ ability to attract and retain teachers.

“Ministers must urgently address this crisis with new and imaginative policy responses. We are calling on the Government to prioritise teachers’ access to affordable housing and to extend discount schemes for rental and first-time buyers.”

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