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Teachers are increasingly paying from their own pockets to provide basic classroom resources and essentials for the pupils they teach, a survey by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has found.
 
Teachers say they are increasingly having to dip into their own funds to buy lesson resources, classroom materials and even food, clothing and toiletries for pupils.
 
One in five teachers said they buy lesson resources with their own money once a week and more than one in ten (12%) say they do this several times a week, with 64% of teachers saying they have purchased paper or stationery for their classroom, 64% arts and crafts materials and 43% textbooks or reading books.
 
When asked why they had purchased the resources, over half (53%) said it was because of funding pressures on their school. 30% said it was because the resources they are provided with by their school are increasingly out of date or unsuitable and 28% said their school was choosing to spend money on other things rather than purchasing classroom resources.
 
63% said that the amount of items they are buying has increased in the last three years, with two thirds saying they are never reimbursed by their school or college and a further 30% saying they are only reimbursed in part.
 
Nearly half (45%) of teachers say they have also spent their own money buying basic necessities for pupils in the last year, with three-quarters having purchased food, 29% toiletries and 23% clothing or shoes.
 
Nearly half (47%) say that the amount of basic necessities they are buying for pupils has increased in the last year.
 
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
 
“Evidence shows that many teachers are facing financial hardship themselves as a result of year on year pay cuts, and yet faced with increasing child poverty some are shouldering further financial burdens to support their pupils.
 
“Teachers care deeply about the pupils they teach and will go to great lengths to ensure their needs are being met.
 
“Teachers once again are being left to pick up the pieces of failed education, social and economic policies.”

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