Myths about poverty and hardship exist in our schools and could be holding back our work to support disadvantaged students. Sean Harris considers the most common of these myths and what we can do to dispel them
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Poverty is on the radar of many schools, charities, and policy-makers. However, between the political rhetoric and most people’s limited lived experience of hardship, poverty can often be misunderstood. In this article I would like to bust some myths, drawing on my experience working in schools and also as a doctoral researcher investigating poverty and educational inequality in education.

 

Myth 1: “We just need to raise the aspirations of those in poverty”

Behind this statement sits a belief that low income equates to low aspiration. Yet there is limited evidence to suggest that families and students struggling in poverty have low ambitions or that they do not want to achieve academically.

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