Hundreds of secondary schools in England and Wales have reported a rising tide of pupil poverty in a survey conducted by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).
The survey, published as ASCL’s annual conference in Birmingham begins today found that ninety six per cent said the extent of pupil poverty has increased over the past few years.
Schools are provide items of clothing for pupils suffering from high levels of disadvantage
Three quarters of those surveyed put on breakfast clubs while71 per cent provide pupils with sanitary products
47 per cent washed clothes for pupils and 43 per cent provide food banks or food parcels for pupils/ families.
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “A decade of austerity has wreaked havoc with the social fabric of the nation and schools have been left to pick up the pieces while coping with real-term funding cuts.
“They have become an unofficial fourth emergency service for poor and vulnerable children, providing food and clothing and filling in the gaps left by cut backs to local services.
“Politicians must end their fixation with Brexit and work together to build a new sense of social mission in our country. We simply must do better for struggling families and invest properly in our schools, colleges and other vital public services.”