Poverty: Pupils so hungry they are stealing food at school

Children coming to school in clothes that are too small, without equipment and too tired for learning, without enough money for lunch, and so hungry that they are stealing food from other pupils.

The problems are becoming so severe that a majority of school staff report being diverted from their core duties as they deal with the consequences of child poverty.

Indeed, 70% of headteachers say that more and more parents are asking schools for help with essential such as food and clothing.

The harrowing survey findings have been published this week by the Education Anti-Poverty Coalition, which is convened by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

Official figures tell us that 4.2 million children are now living in relative poverty (household income below 60% of the median after housing costs). This is 29% of all UK children. Of these, 2.7 million are living in “deep poverty” – families below 50% of the median income (DWP, 2023).

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting Headteacher Update and reading some of our content for professionals in primary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcasts

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday


Already have an account? Sign in here