Teaching assistants quitting to work in supermarkets and restaurants

Teaching assistants are taking on second jobs to make ends meet – while others are walking away from the classroom for better paid roles in retail and hospitality.

"Since the cost of living has increased we have lost teaching assistants to work in supermarkets, fast food restaurants, hotels and other such roles.”
A mainstream school teacher


Schools say that low salaries due to the cost of living crisis squeezing already stretched school budgets are driving teaching assistants away.

The findings have come from the third in a trilogy of studies about the impact of the cost of living crisis in education – this one looking at the impact on school staff (Lucas et al, 2023).

It finds that 82% of senior leaders in special schools, 75% in primaries and 72% in secondaries say that some of their teaching assistants are taking up additional employment.

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