Analysis by the Institute for Public Policy Research finds that the number of additional children forecasted to be in poverty by the end of 2020.
Peter Shreeve, Assistant District Secretary of the National Education Union said:
“This latest report is deeply alarming adding to already appalling levels of poverty. Last year 34.3% of Island children were living in poverty according to the charity End Child Poverty and this figure is increasing.
“The report forecasts that an enormous number of children will be thrown into poverty by Christmas. This is in addition to the 4.2 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2018-19, which equals nine children in every class of 30.”
Shreeve: Coronavirus disruption cannot be recovered through booster classes alone
He went on to say,
“Schools know only too well the impact this has on the children and young people they teach. Support staff and teachers regularly try and support children who are tired are often hungry. But schools alone cannot solve this problem. We know 40% of the educational attainment gap with which disadvantaged children are burdened, is created before they even start school.
“This year, local media has often reported on all kinds of poverty – ‘period’ poverty, ‘holiday’ poverty and poverty relating to ‘disadvantaged’ pupils. Now, we have the devastating impact of Covid-19 on household incomes.
“Government must come clean about the reality, which is that the disruption caused by Coronavirus for disadvantaged children cannot be recovered through booster classes alone. Wales and Scotland have national plans to develop proper programmes of learning because of Covid-19, but the Westminster Government is behind on a national response on curriculum flexibility and blended learning.”
Shreeve: Government needs make ending child poverty a priority
Peter finished by saying,
“After seeing the report, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services Ltd, Jenny Coles said that rising poverty ‘is not something we should accept or normalise, neither is continued government inaction’.
“Politicians from across the political spectrum have been speaking out about the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on children living in poverty. At the start of this crisis the Government said it would do whatever it takes to see the UK through the current crisis.
“For the sake of all the children expected to be in poverty by the end of the year – and the millions already in poverty before the crisis struck – the Government needs to step up to the plate and make ending child poverty a priority.”