ON THE GROUND

'Not taken care of': UK teacher laments low salary amid cost of living crisis

Iwan, a learning assistant at a further education college in Bristol, is struggling to make ends meet amid the UK's acute cost of living crisis.
Iwan, a learning assistant at a further education college in Bristol, is struggling to make ends meet amid the UK's acute cost of living crisis. ? FRANCE 24 screengrab

In the second of a series of reports on people affected?by the UK’s cost of living crisis, FRANCE 24 spoke to a teaching?assistant in Bristol about how the job he loves?barely pays him enough to survive.

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Iwan teaches at a further education college in the city of Bristol in southwestern England. He loves his job but is struggling financially. His salary covers the basic necessities but he?has very little left over at the end of the month.?

Iwan has just found a room in a flatshare but is struggling to make ends meet amid rampant inflation. Sometimes he has to go to food banks just to survive.

“My monthly salary is a bit over a thousand pounds; previously my rent was ?500. With bills it would come to ?700-?800. So that leaves you with about 200 quid for food, doctors, anything like that,” said Iwan.

Iwan said it was a shame that people were looking to leave a profession they were passionate about because of the?low salaries.?

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“We are all writing our CVs at the moment,” he said. “We stay because of the students. I don’t want to abandon my students. They are kids who haven’t done anything wrong,” Iwan said.

Many in the British teaching profession are struggling to cope amid the rising cost in living. Nearly a third of teachers have quit after less than five years on the job as unions warn of a knock-on effect on educational standards.

“These people who are spending their day to day working lives caring for others, especially vulnerable people [...]; they are not being taken care of themselves. It makes you not only disillusioned. It means a lot of us just want to move not just house but abroad,” Iwan said.

Click on the video player above to watch FRANCE 24's video report in full.

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