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‘Substantial’ rise in teachers working second jobs

Fears over the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on teachers have intensified after a poll suggested one in six teachers are now working second jobs.

Figures published by Teacher Tapp show a “substantial jump” of 42 per cent in the proportion of educators reporting they were doing other work outside their day job.

The organisation, which now polls over 10,000 teachers and leaders daily, asks its subscribers each January if they had earned cash “outside education in the preceding 12 months”.

Between 2019 and 2022, the proportion answering yes remained at about 12 per cent. But this year that increased to 17 per cent.

It comes amid growing tensions over teacher pay. NASUWT became the second teaching union to announce plans for a consultative ballot of members over wages and workload on Monday – a month on from the NEU’s pledge to quiz members about strike action.   

Daniel Kebede

Reacting to the survey, NEU general secretary Daniel Kebede argued the “increases in teachers taking second jobs underline” his worries.

“Teacher pay levels are too low to properly value them and the NEU is calling for a major correction in teacher pay. We should not be in a situation where teachers are having to take second jobs to get by.”

Teacher Tapp found teachers were “more likely to be earning money outside education if they’re men (20% are, as opposed to 16% of women)”.

“And the more senior you are, the less likely you are to be earning money outside education.”

Senior teachers ‘too well paid’ for second jobs

Seventeen per cent of classroom teachers and 18 per cent of middle leaders all had second jobs, while just 8 per cent headteachers did so, Teacher Tapp found.

The polling company believes heads are “either too well paid, or too busy, for side hustles”.

Earlier this week, NASUWT confirmed it will hold a consultative ballot over the “coming weeks” to “take forward its campaigning, up to and including industrial action, to secure a better deal for teachers on pay, workload, working hours and wellbeing”.

On the same day, it also published the results of a survey of 7,000 of its members in England’s state schools.

Seventy-two per cent said workload had increased since the start of the academic year. The same proportion stated that no measures had been put in place by their school to “remedy concerns raised”.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan told the body tasked with making recommendations on teacher wages to consider the impact of rises on school budgets in December. Unions took this as a sign ministers will greenlight a below-inflation pay increase.

A separate Teacher Tapp survey last year also showed an increase in school staff using foodbanks.

In December 2019, 6 per cent of headteachers said they were aware of someone in their primary or secondary who had used one that term. The figure rose to 16 per cent in 2023.

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