Staff turn off TV and log on instead

6th January 2006 at 00:00
More than half of teachers are the main breadwinners in their families.

Almost three-quarters of teachers are living with a spouse or partner.

The average teacher now earns significantly more than most other people.

According to one study last year, the average UK salary is pound;28,258 and the public-sector average is pound;24,700 but most teachers earn around Pounds 32,000, according to the TES study.

So where does their money go? The survey shows that 35 per cent of teachers own their own home outright and a further 49 per cent have taken out mortgages to buy a property, with the average size of the loan being a hefty pound;83,000. The proportion of teachers with a mortgage drops to less than one in three among teachers aged under 30, two-thirds of whom are still paying off student loans.

Surprisingly, 9 per cent of teachers say they have a second home in the UK or abroad, and those earning between pound;26,000 and pound;40,000 are more likely to have more than one property, perhaps because many of these have partners on higher salaries.

The survey also shows that more than two in five teachers make regular payments to a charity, and more than half of those over 50 do so. Less than one in three teachers have investments in stocks and shares, although that rises to 44 per cent among teachers aged over 50.

The survey also shows that, at home, teachers appear to find it hard to escape from education. More than three-quarters with school-age children help them with their homework. Of the 146 teachers who had a child under 16, two-thirds spend up to an hour every night helping with their school work. One teacher even claimed to help tutor their son or daughter for over three hours each night.

The survey indicates that teachers are not very heavy television viewers, and one in eight say that they do not watch any TV at all on a typical week night.

Teachers' favourite form of relaxation appears to be the internet, with 83 per cent saying they use it on a typical weeknight, a fifth doing so for more than an hour, perhaps reflecting the web's potential as a resource for lesson planning.

The survey also shows teachers' growing computer literacy: nine out of 10 have email, 85 per cent have a PC and more than half have a laptop.

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