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The growing shadow of poverty and crisis

02 October 2023
Volume 5 · Issue 1

I know very well that readers of this journal do not need to be told again, but it bears repeating nonetheless: There is a crisis of poverty in this country.

With another new school year comes more evidence of families being pushed to the brink and the impact on students in our schools.

And the message is clear – the shadow of disadvantage is touching more and more young people and not just those eligible for free school meals and the Pupil Premium.

The figures are sobering: 4.2 million children and counting are living in poverty and of these, 2.7 million are in what we call ‘deep poverty’ – in families with below 50% of the median national income (DWP, 2023)

The Food Foundation estimates that 900 000 children living in poverty are not eligible for FSMs. And despite 30% of families on Universal Credit being considered ‘food insecure’, 69% of families on Universal Credit are not eligible for FSMs – this equates to 1.7 million children (Cribb et al, 2023).

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