Thousands take summer jobs to make ends meet

1st August 2008 at 01:00

Thousands of hard-up teachers are foregoing their holidays this year for summer jobs to boost their dwindling personal finances.

Spiralling mortgage, fuel and food bills and the prospect of a below- inflation pay rise are behind the increasing numbers taking on work in summer schools, council play schemes and sports camps.

Many younger teachers are working in bars, shops and offices to pay off overdrafts and other debts. One is even touting for gardening work.

Figures from consultancy Capital Economics suggest there has been a five per cent increase in the overall number of workers taking second jobs since the start of the economic slowdown, and teachers are not exempt.

Hafiz Qarni, 26, is a maths teacher with two years' experience in a secondary school, but is planning to take a commission-only job selling cruises over the phone this summer.

His wife Annie has just given birth to their first daughter, Inaya, and the family is relocating to London in August. "It is a necessity for me to avoid building up a big overdraft and credit card bills while we make the move," he said.

Carrie-Anne Taylor, 29, an English teacher from Haverstock School in Camden, north London, has stayed back an extra week to teach at a summer school for vulnerable year 6 pupils.

She gets paid pound;1,000 for the extra work - a welcome boost as she has to pay for the deposit on her new keyworker flat.

"It's good fun," she said. "The classes are small, the children want to be there and there is a good atmosphere. It's like teaching should be, in an ideal world."

But Ms Taylor, who has been teaching for five years, said previous summers have not been so good. "Last year I was temping for an accountant doing data input for three weeks, it was terrible."

Her lowest ebb was at the beginning of her career, when she worked in a cafe which paid her only in food.

Patrick Nash, chief executive of the Teacher Support Network, said summer should really be about teachers taking time for themselves.

"It can take weeks for a teacher to unwind from the pressures of the classroom," he said.

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