'I will never forget the panic in that girl's voice’ – the poverty crisis laid bare

The chilling and worsening impact of poverty on children and families has been laid bare by a survey of 10,000 teachers. The research also sets out teachers’ priorities post-Covid. Pete Henshaw reports

“In 20 years teaching, I have never seen the situation so bad.”

Teachers say that levels of child poverty are worsening, with a majority reporting that at least one-fifth of the pupils they teach are economically disadvantaged.

Before the pandemic, child poverty levels were already rising with 4.2 million children living below the poverty line in March 2020 (72 per cent of whom were living in working families). Covid-19 has exacerbated the situation with many families having lost work.

This week, the National Education Union (NEU) published findings of its State of Education survey involving more than 10,000 of its members ahead of its annual conference, which is running from April 7 to 9.

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