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  1. ITV Report

Teachers: Children are living in 'Victorian conditions' are being 'blighted and degraded by poverty and homelessness'

Teachers: Children are living in 'Victorian conditions'. Photo: PA

Teachers have claimed that children are turning up to school sick because their parents cannot afford to take time off to care for them.

School staff are also still seeing youngsters arriving for lessons hungry, tired and wearing inappropriate clothes due to a continuing squeeze on family finances, according to the NASUWT teaching union.

It warned that the lives of many children are young people are being "blighted and degraded by poverty and homelessness".

In some cases, teachers reported being aware of pupils living in "Victorian conditions", of youngsters coming to school with no socks or coat and of more families depending on food banks.

A survey commissioned by the NASUWT found that almost seven in 10 (69%) of teachers said they have seen pupils coming to school hungry, while eight in 10 (80%) have witnessed youngsters turning up in clothes that are inappropriate for the weather and similar proportions reported children arriving in unwashed or damaged and frayed clothing.

In addition, over three in four (78%) said they have seen pupils without appropriate footwear and more than half (55%) have seen youngsters who are unable to afford uniform.

One of the almost 2,500 teachers surveyed said they had seen: "Pupils who come into school unwell. Often their parents cannot afford to take a day off work, and therefore send their children to school when they ought to be at home."

And another reported: "Pupils who need medical attention, but parents are not taking them/unable to take them to the GP, optician and/or dentist."

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