Many pupils in England hungry and badly clothed, say teachers

Union says schools overwhelmed by funding cuts and increasing child poverty. Teachers have warned that growing levels of poverty across England are having a devastating effect on pupils, with more children going hungry and being unable to afford warm clothes this winter. The findings from the National Education Union paint a harrowing picture of day-to-day poverty in schools. Teachers say that a lack of food, poor housing and unsuitable clothes are overwhelming pupils and cash-strapped schools. Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the union, described “a Dickensian picture” of poverty: “The government is out of touch with the distressing new reality of children’s daily lives: with what it means to live without enough money for basics such as food, shoes and adequate clothing. “[It] has failed to recognise the human cost of its cuts to schools and other children’s services and to the social security system, and its failure to address the in-work poverty faced by one in five workers.” Schools have been hard hit by per-pupil funding cuts implemented by central government. Three out of 10 maintained secondary schools now have budget deficits of nearly £500,000. Read more.