Best Practice

The cost of winter: Ideas for how schools can support families

The winter season will exacerbate the economic hardship that many have faced this year. Sean Harris, doctoral researcher in the consequences of poverty, examines practical ways in which teachers and schools can tackle disadvantage this wintertime
Image: Adobe Stock

Families are considered destitute if they have not been able to meet their most basic physical needs to stay warm, dry, clean and fed.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Destitution in the UK report, published in October, reveals that approximately 3.8 million people experienced destitution in the past year, including around one million children. This is almost 2.5 times more people than found themselves in this position in 2017 – and nearly triple the number of children (Fitzpatrick et al, 2023).

More figures, this time published by the Trussell Trust (2023), tell us that the number of food banks being accessed nationally has increased exponentially in the last 12 months. Indeed, December 2022 was the busiest month on record for food banks, with a food parcel being distributed every eight seconds.

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