2 April 2018
Commenting after the debate on Motion 44, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT section of the National Education Union, said:
“Not only has there been a dramatic rise in poverty and inequality since 2010, the situation has been worsened by drastic cuts to schools’ budgets and to the vital support services available to children and their families.
“As the joint NEU/Child Poverty Action Group survey shows, the effects have been devastating and all too obvious to teachers, who see the impact on their students and their ability to learn every day.
“Yet rather than empower teachers and schools in the poorest areas to support their pupils, this Government has done the opposite by cutting their budgets at a disproportionate rate. It has also saddled schools and teachers with a regressive high-stakes testing and accountability regime that places additional and counterproductive pressure on schools with disadvantaged intakes.
“The child poverty crisis demands immediate action from Government and a reversal of its damaging programme of cuts to schools and local authority services.
“The growing number of pupils that teachers see coming to school hungry is a particularly stark and harrowing example of rising levels of poverty. The Government’s changes to eligibility for free school meals under Universal Credit will result in one million children living in poverty going without a free school lunch. The Government must listen to the many voices that have spoken out against this change, and reverse it.”
CPAG/NEU survey, 2 April 2018: https://www.teachers.org.uk/news-events/conference-2018/child-poverty