BBC Question Time Audience Members Reveal Teachers Now Pay For Kids’ Food Themselves

Two school officials independently claimed that teachers now have to spend money to buy breakfast for some students.

On Thursday’s BBC Question Time, the teacher and carer answered questions about the possibility of school staff going on strike in the coming weeks.

The supervisor revealed that the reality of being a teacher has gotten pretty stark as educators now have to cook a meal for their students.

She said: “They buy toast, milk so kids can come in and have a chat.”

The viewer added that this means kids “who may not be getting a good start at home in the morning” can then “chat and be quiet” with a teacher before starting their day.

She concluded: “They’re not just teachers, they’re social workers, they’re parents, they make sure these kids are. Participation in after-school clubs.

“And that’s not right – teachers want to teach their subjects well and be in the classroom with them [students] so you have the best education.

“But they are not recognized for this and they are not trained.”

the other listener, one teacher who works in post-secondary education at a secondary school also explained that the working conditions and the pressure on teachers led to people dropping out in droves.

She said: “I’ve seen a lot of colleagues, especially since Covid, leave the profession.”

She claimed this was due to a lack of resources to support her students. With around 50% of her own learners living in extreme poverty, she has resorted to her own means to provide them with breakfast.

ITV’s Daniel Hewitt responded to the clip on Twitter, saying: “I heard that in the North West in 2017 and it wasn’t just food. I met teachers who had bought children’s coats and shoes.”

Mary Bousted of the National Education Union (NEU) also painted a bleak picture of the sector as she sat on the podium at this week’s Question Time.

She addressed criticism of the idea that teachers could go on strike by saying the tax cuts Tory leadership candidates have promised throughout their campaigns would decimate already exhausted public services.

“They’ve been through Covid already, they’ve been through 10 years of austerity. If you look at school funding, [it] will only reach the level of 2010 in real terms in 2025.

“So how do we get a high-skill economy by starving education of funds?

“The fact is we’re running out of teachers.”

She said they had 2% of the target number of physics teachers, 1% of computer teachers and only 7% of math teachers.

“Next year we will start with half of our vacant teaching positions.”

She said projections suggest 40% of teachers will leave in the next 10 years as salaries are starting to get so low.

“You can’t do that to public services and expect them to work. And public services are the bedrock of a civilized society.”

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