95% of teachers admitted to buying basic necessities including toothpaste, toothbrushes, breakfast and sanitary products using their own money.
Childcare.co.uk, the UK’s largest online platform for childcare’s, parents, schools and tutors, recently surveyed more than 2,000 primary school teachers.
The findings were shocking. From the 2,000 teachers surveyed:
- 81% admit to providing breakfast for their pupils.
- 74% hold tooth-brushing sessions each morning.
- 64% brush pupils hair in the morning.
- 69% have had to personally deal with head lice.
- 9% have had to push parents to make doctors appointments for their children.
- 95% admitted to buying basic necessities including toothpaste, toothbrushes, breakfast and sanitary products using their own money.
- 53% ensure they have extra snacks available for lunchtime.
- 22% have bought a meal at lunchtime for a child.
- 45% have had to buy stationery or books.
- 23% have bought an item if uniform.
- 58% have bought sanitary products.
Amongst these teachers, 25% now feel it is the norm and their duty to care for the children in this way.
The 2,369 teachers were asked why they believed they found themselves providing the basic care needs for the children.
- 34% said they worked at a school in a deprived area.
- 11% believe it was due to neglect at home.
Richard Conway, founder of Childcare.co.uk said,
“We decided to survey some of our schools to understand what teachers have to do in their everyday work lives, and I have to say, they go above and beyond their duties as teachers.
“An extraordinary number of teachers undertake these duties, including teachers using their own money for pupils to have the correct supplies for school work and ensuring their students eat at school.
“Whatever the reason children haven’t had breakfast or brushed their teeth, it shouldn’t be up to a teacher to do these things.”
As an ex-primary school teacher and father, I find these statistics extremely concerning. Rather than the government concentrating on getting the UK’s children to pass the various exams set before them, shouldn’t they be focussing on meeting these basic needs first and foremost?