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NASUWT Blog

By NASUWT, Jul 2 2015 01:20PM

‘SHATTERING CHILDREN’S LIFE CHANCES CANNOT SIMPLY BE REGARDED AS COLLATERAL DAMAGE’ SAYS THE NASUWT

Commenting in advance of release of the latest official figures on child poverty, released today (Thursday), Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“If, as expected, the figures show that child poverty levels have risen yet again, this is a shameful indictment of the economic and social policies of the Coalition Government.

“It is equally shameful that the Government is committed to continuing the policies which have led to this anticipated rise.

“Teachers are witnessing firsthand the impact of poverty on the children they teach.

“Three-quarters of teachers recently surveyed by the NASUWT say they have witnessed more and more children coming to school too hungry to concentrate and without clothing and footwear appropriate to the weather conditions.

“Children are increasingly being denied educational opportunities because of their parents’ inability to pay for educational visits.

“Evidence shows that too many young people are choosing subject options on the basis, not of their skills and aspirations, but on the basis of whether their parents can afford the books, equipment and other resources a particular course demands.

“Schools and teachers are being left to pick up the pieces.

“The shattering of children’s life chances cannot simply be regarded as collateral damage.

“Yet scandalously, rather than embarking on a strategy to tackle poverty and inequality, it now appears the Government plans to change the definition of child poverty in an attempt to mask the terrible toll its policies are taking on our children and young people. Our children and young people deserve better.”