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What Effect Does the Schooling System Have on Disadvantaged Children?

Filed in Uncategorized by on June 20, 2017 0 Comments


School cuts and disadvantage 

Schools with the highest numbers of poor pupils are likely to see the biggest cuts to funding in coming years, according to research.

In March 2017 The Guardian claimed ‘a study argues that these state schools are set to lose out on hundreds of pounds per pupil under government funding plans.

‘The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) research looks at the 997 state schools with more than 40% of pupils eligible for free school meals, a key measure of poverty.

‘In total, it says, primary schools with this proportion of disadvantaged students will lose £473 per pupil in real terms, £140 more than the average for primary schools generally, while secondaries with high numbers of poorer youngsters will have an average loss per pupil of £803, £326 more than the average for secondaries.’

Cuts across the board are leading to schools having to made staff redundant, reduce subjects from the curriculum and even having to ask parents to provide books and toilet roll.

School cuts also mean that school counsellors’ hours are being reduced or their post being removed altogether. Counsellors are a vital part of the school system and removing them can threaten children’s mental health and wellbeing – for disadvantaged children, matters may be worse. The Huffington Post quoted Liam Collins, the head teacher of Uplands Community College, East Sussex in January “We’re meant to be looking after the mental health of young people, but we’ve got no money to do that”.

‘Lunch Shaming’ 

Due to the widening gap between wealthy families and poorer families, ‘lunch shaming’ has become a way for children to ridicule poorer students whose family lack money or resources. 30% of children are growing up in poverty in the UK. Free school meals ensure that disadvantaged children from poorer families get the nutrition they need.

In her election manifesto, Theresa May planned to scrap free school meals for infant pupils in England. This would hurt families who are struggling financially and may lead to disadvantaged children falling further behind at school, and potentially, disrupting their behaviour and mental health.

How the lack of support affects mental health

With stretched resources at school and a lack of mental health counsellors at schools, students are more likely to fall behind and underachieve. They won’t be able to get the help they so need from school, and if they’re suffering from neglect or abuse at home, it makes it all the more difficult for a child to seek help.

Lapwing, a not for profit education charity, has developed a campaign to offer individual programmes for children to engage in during the summer months. The Resilience Campaign will offer personalised educational activities and enable children to gain confidence, rebuild their self-esteem and regain their trust in adults. To help us support children from disadvantaged backgrounds, visit our Just Giving page:

To learn more about the ‘Resilience’ Campaign, click the link:

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