Why young teachers need to be better paid
I live in Bournemouth. The average house price locally is £250,000. An average flat sells for in excess of £150,000. Rental properties cost approximately £850 per calendar month. Bournemouth prices are lower than those in London and many other U.K. cities.
So an NQT wants a teaching job. In Bournemouth, this would be paid an annual salary of £22,244 to start with. This equates to £1854 per month before tax. £10,600 is untaxed personal allowance, the remainder taxed at 20%. This reduces pay from £22,244 to 19915.2 0(tax paid £2328.80). On top of this, National Insurance has to be paid. at a rate of £1,702 annually. The actual salary paid is £18,213 after basic taxes have been paid. In addition to this, student loans will be repaid at either £23 or £30 per month- another annual loss of earnings of at least £276. This reduces pay further to £17937 annually, or £1494.75 per month.
So you want to teach in Bournemouth. You apply for and are accepted for a job. You need a place to stay, so you know that of your monthly pay, £850 will go on rent. You need also to pay council tax, at a rate of £1035.54 annually (minimum rate). This is £86.30 per month. You also have to pay gas, electricity, water and sewage bills. Let’s call these an average of £100 per month (though more is likely). Transport, phone and food charges all go on top of this. Out of our £1494.75, we are already committed to £1036.30 per month.so all these other essential expenses have to be paid out of approximately £450. Is this enough to run a car, eat healthily and keep in touch with family?
And all this is without any social activity, holiday costs, clothes, health costs (dental, glasses and prescriptions).
So, how do you EVER save for a deposit to get a mortgage to get your own home?
How do you stay positive with huge economic pressures, and the constant need to juggle finances? Hoe do you AFFORD to live and work in Bournemouth?
The government believes that teachers’ salaries are competitive for graduates, and that they should be attractive enough to entice new teachers into the profession. I, on the other hand, can understand why young people are turning away from the profession for financial reasons alone. Add to this the horrific workload, the lack of esteem the profession is held in, and the low morale NQT’s encounter from seasoned staff, it is not surprising there is a crisis in recruitment and retention. Far better to leave school at 16, take an apprenticeship, get paid whilst doing so, and build up a decent salary over the six years it will take a teacher to qualify. Less stress, less hassle, and more self-esteem. Why would anyone choose teaching?