Teachers' union claim more pupils falling into poverty

General view of a classroom Credit: PA

A study by the country's largest teaching union has found more children are turning up to school hungry and unable to pay attention in class.

The NASUWT surveyed 4000 of its members, around a quarter of which said they worked in an 'average' area in terms of deprivation.

Twenty-seven percent said they had brought in food for hungry pupils themselves and 63% said they had lent or given pupils school equipment.

Housing was reported as a significant problem, with 27% of respondents saying they knew of pupils who had lost their homes, and 36% saying they had taught pupils who were living in temporary accommodation such as B&Bs and hostels.

The union is blaming the Coalition Government's social and economic policies for the apparent rise in children being under prepared for school.

According to the charity Child Poverty Action 3.5 million children live in poverty in this country with the figure set to rise by 600,000 by 2015/16 as a result of this Coalition Government's policies.

Today the NASUWT will set up a Food Bank at its conference at the ICC in Birmingham, where it's asking delegates to donate food which will be shared among four local food banks in the West Midlands.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

Department for Education statement Credit: DFE

In response to the claims, the Department for Education said the Government is introducing a number of measures to help families who are struggling financially. In a statement a spokesperson said: