End Child Poverty coalition: new child poverty figures

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, has commented on ECP figures providing a Child Poverty map of the UK.

She said:

These are shocking figures. It is nothing short of a disgrace that, in one of the wealthiest countries on earth, there are constituencies where more than half of children are growing up in poverty.

“Sadly, however, these figures will not come as a surprise to many of our members who see the disastrous effects of poverty on children and families every day. This includes a rising number of children coming to school tired and hungry because their parents cannot afford to provide meals at home. Teachers and education professionals are also aware of the impact that poverty has on children’s ability to learn, something that is reflected in figures which show a persistent link between poverty and attainment. If you are hungry and concerned about the lack of money at home, this will have an effect on your experiences of school and education.

“With news that some of the most deprived areas of the UK have seen the biggest increases in child poverty since these figures were last released, the Government can no longer deny that there is a growing crisis of child poverty in the UK and must take measures to address this. We support calls for the Chancellor to immediately end the benefits freeze. For the Government to claim that it wants to boost opportunity and ‘social mobility’ while at the same time pursuing policies such as this which are increasing child poverty is nothing short of hypocrisy.”

ENDS

Press release
24 January 2018