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Povert causing hunger and fatigue in School
A rising number of children are going to school tired, hungry and poorly dressed because they are living in poverty, a survey of teachers suggests.
Just under 80% of teachers say they have pupils living in a family below the poverty line, the survey for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers found.
And one in four believe poverty among their pupils has increased since the start of the recession.
One teacher from Halifax, West Yorkshire, told researchers that one boy had been laughed at by classmates when changing for PE because he was not wearing underpants.
In another case, a teacher had a sixth-form student who had not eaten for three days because the child's mother had no money until pay day.
The poll, which questioned more than 600 teachers, found that 86% believe that poverty is badly affecting the wellbeing of some students.
One teaching assistant in a West Midlands secondary school told researchers: "Every day I become aware of a child suffering due to poverty.
"Today I have had to contact parents because a child has infected toes due to feet squashed into shoes way too small."
Craig Macartney, a secondary school teacher from Suffolk, said: "More children from middle- to lower-income families are not going on school trips and these families find it difficult to meet the basic cost of living.
"A family with two or three teenage children who have one earner who loses hours, or their job, will struggle to reach the minimum income to pay for basics.
"This will get worse as the impact of the cuts affects families."
Around eight in 10 teachers said poverty affected the achievements of pupils, with pupils under-achieving and lacking motivation.
"There is a change in attitude of lower sixth students towards higher education," said college lecturer Jane Hill, from Worcester.
"Many feel it is beyond their economic reach now and are somewhat disaffected in terms of their attitude towards study and A-levels."
According to Save the Children, up to 1.6 million children in the UK are living in poverty with the Manchester area of Gorton and Tower Hamlets in London being the hardest hit.
I started out with nothing and Iv'e still got most of it left
I would be the first one to claim that our welfare state is not what it should be, but I would think in a lot of the cases reported here there underlying social problems than rather just lack of funds. Though I would also be the first one to say "not all". What we need is for some of these people to be educated that there is no need for poverty and there is always help available for the genuine cases. I'm not talking about those who get their wages or benefit and spend it on booze,drugs or gambling as soon as they get it and their children are left to scavenge around for food and clothing.
Make Love, Not War
I think you are probably right Phil. I have heard someone saying that they had to borrow some sugar because they hadn't any money to buy any till 2 days time, yet had been quite happy to pay whatever it is earlier in the month for a Sky (Ugh)