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UK Teachers Spending Millions on Equipment for Pupils

Following news that teacher pay in England and Scotland has decreased between 2010 and 2014, a damning new study has revealed teachers are being forced to pay hundreds of pounds out of their own pay packet for classroom supplies.

The study, called Equipped to Learn and commissioned by office supplier Staples, showed that almost two thirds of the teachers questioned felt under pressure to part with money from their own pocket to buy equipment for students.

Of these teachers, 60 per cent anticipate spending at least £120 during the current academic year, while 30 per cent expect to spend upwards of £240. Those who taught younger children were more likely to feel pressured to use their own money for supplies, most prominently teachers of nine to ten year-olds.

The Staples Equipped to Learn report details how 73 per cent of children in both primary and secondary school are coming to school unprepared for lessons.

Asked how the situation could be changed, the majority of teachers  (63 per cent) believe that children should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own equipment if they are old enough to do so, and parents should be encouraged to take more of an interest in their child’s day-to-day schooling.

Sharon Tan, Director, Head of Category Management for Staples Europe commented on the new report: “Our report shines a light on the pressure that some teachers feel to pay for their students’ supplies out of their own pockets.

“Teachers, along with parents should help encourage their children to remember their school supplies. Get them into the routine of packing their bags the night before to ensure that they have everything they need for the next day. It’s about helping kids be 100 per cent ready, and enjoying doing so.”

The full Equipped to Learn report can be downloaded from the Staples website:http://www.staples.co.uk/Content/Static/index/images/staples-equipped-to-learn-results.pdf

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Jack Peat

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