Commenting on a report from the National Foundation for Educational Research highlighting the cost-of-living challenges facing school staff, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“Working as support staff in schools is becoming financially unviable, as this report clearly shows.
“Support staff play a vital role in schools. The fact that they are leaving for other work that pays more is a testament to the disregard that Government holds both for support staff and the education of children and young people. Low pay and the cost-of-living crisis are taking a heavy toll on the profession, with members resorting to the use of food banks or heavily economising on food, cutting back on heating bills and accessing Universal Credit.
“The cumulative effect is that, for the first time ever, schools are now finding it difficult - if not impossible - to fill vacancies amongst their support staff cohort. This has a knock-on effect on pupils, especially those with SEND who need support and continuity on a day-to-day basis.
“Until such time as pay and workload across the whole education profession is addressed, the recruitment and retention crisis that is gripping our schools and colleges will persist. Many talented and committed people will be lost to the profession and the education of children and young people will suffer as a result.”