‘I was eating one meal a day’

TAs struggle in the face of poor pay and conditions

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“One winter it was literally a choice between heating and eating,” says Donna Spicer, a teaching assistant who works in a primary school in Plumstead, south London.

Spicer, a teaching assistant of 18 years standing, is paid a salary of £16,500 and knows how difficult it can be for school support staff to make ends meet on their current wages.

That’s just one of the reasons why support staff are in line for a significant pay rise over the next two years.

The pay offer outlined by the National Joint Council (NJC) – which represents 350 local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – ...

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