Number of teachers asking for financial support from charity up 40% in a year, figures show

The Independent reports that hundreds of teachers are being forced into begging a charity for cash handouts because they can no longer afford to pay housing and transport costs, The Independent can reveal.

Many are falling into rent arrears and are simply unable to afford to get to work, with the number of teachers applying for help from the UK’s main education support charity rising by 40 per cent in the past year, figures show.

One primary school teacher in London, a single father of two, admitted he would have been made homeless without financial help from the charity, saying he was “down to the last few quid” each month and had “nothing to fall back on”.

Figures provided to The Independent by Education Support Partnership (ESP), the UK’s only charity which provides financial support to education staff, show the number of applications for grants from teachers has surged by almost half in the past year alone.

The charity received 494 applications for grants in the 2016/17 financial year, while the figures available for this year so far – received in the eight months between April and November – already stand at 531. The spike marks a 40 per cent increase on the same period last year, and the charity expects to award a record number of grants to teachers by April.

Separate figures provided to The Independent by Turn2us, a charity which helps people in financial hardship to access charitable grants and support services, show the proportion of grants they give out to those working in education has doubled since 2010 – from 11 per cent to 22 per cent.

Tom Smith, a 32-year-old primary school teacher and single father living in Leyton said “I have no idea where I would be if I hadn’t been able to get that financial help. I don’t have rich parents; I don’t have things that a lot of people have to fall back on. I have some mates whose sofas we could have slept on, but I can imagine few more depressing things than having my life in bin bags with my two kids sleeping on mates’ sofas, especially as someone who has been to university and has a teaching qualification.”

Read the full article Number of teachers asking for financial support from charity up 40% in a year, figures show

Are you struggling financially? Are you one of of the increasing number of teachers turning to charities for help? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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