But hard-up trainee teachers are not just raiding stationery cupboards, they are stashing swag from the lavatories too. Toilet rolls are the latest must-haves being smuggled home by teachers.
Candid contributors to the TES's online chatroom, admit pilfering an impressive array of pens, pencils and noteboooks.
One says: "When out drinking last night with fellow, prospective post-grad students, I was introduced to the ingenious idea of "borrowing" stationery from my office. We have made a pact to take extra large bags to work for the remainder of our employment, accidentally filling them with staplers, lever arch files etc.
Another replied: "It is indeed a great plan! For the past week, I have looked super-keen by taking work home with me every night - in particularly attractive folders filled with all the pens, pencils, post-its, dividers required to finish my "project"!!" A third teacher asks: "Do toilet rolls count?"
Booty listed by another includes two packs of whiteboard pens, six notebooks, pens and pencils, about 300 plastic wallets, about 50 pocket wallets and five lever arch files. "Ho Ho Ho. Thanks boss," they write.
Elsewhere on the forum more generous teachers complain that they are spending too much on books and other resources out of their own pockets.
Gwen Evans, assistant general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "A lot of student teachers are in debt so it's not surprising to hear of pirate excursions to the stationery cupboards. It is an interesting aspect of underground school life."