A snapshot poll of 549 National Education Union members conducted by Deltapoll paints a bleak picture of the Christmas many children and young people face this year.
- 63% of respondents said they were worried that more children than last year will be going hungry over the Christmas period
- 59% felt more children this year compared with last Christmas will be going without warm clothing. .
- More than one in 10 teachers said their schools will be taking steps to support families over the Christmas holidays.
- The overwhelming majority (90%) of teachers said the next Government must prioritise ending child poverty.
When asked to describe the ways in which schools will be supporting families over the Christmas period teachers spoke of opening food banks, collecting for presents, clothes and food hampers.
Commenting on the survey, Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“At a time of year when children should be excitedly looking forward to the holidays, thousands are facing a bleak Christmas without enough food or warm clothing. Teachers see the impact poverty has on our children and young people on a daily basis. It is no surprise that the majority of members believe the next Government must end child poverty when they witness its impact on pupils day in day out. In the fifth richest country in the world, we should not still be hearing the same harrowing stories from teachers worried about whether their students will have access to a hot dinner during their two-week break."