Toolkit helps schools to reduce the impact of poverty on children

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

A resource to help teachers and school staff to tackle the impact of poverty on children’s learning has been created by two child poverty charities.

Child Poverty Action Group and Children North East have developed the resource – entitled Turning the page on poverty – and it has been published in partnership with the National Education Union (NEU).

The guide includes information on poverty and practical ideas for how we can reduce the costs of the school day. It includes sections on:

  • How to talk about poverty, including ideas like creating safe spaces to discuss it with pupils, using art, drama and play to talk about poverty-related stigma, and ways to address discriminatory or negative views.
  • How schools can reduce poverty stigma and school-related costs, including ideas such as setting up second-hand uniform shops, giving advance notice of trips to parents to enable them to budget, and providing resource areas for pupils for creative homework.
  • How schools can support families affected by poverty, for example by helping them access entitlements and financial support, running extended schools programmes, and signposting families to local support services.

The advice draws on the work of the Child Poverty Action Group’s Cost of the School Day programme and Children North East’s Poverty Proofing the School Day initiative, which has featured previously in SecEd, our sister magazine.

Child Poverty Action Group and Children North East are also running training workshops for NEU members and school staff in England and Wales offering practical ideas and examples of what can be done to improve the school day for children and families in low income households.

Household income statistics (for 2018/19) show that 4.2 million children (around 30 per cent of all UK children) now live below the poverty line, with 72 per cent of these in working families (DWP, 2020). These are children living in families that earn below 60 per cent of the UK median income after housing costs.

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