NewsHalf of teachers are working with homeless children

Half of teachers are working with homeless children

Almost half of teachers at state schools in England (49%) have reported working with children who are homeless, according to new data from Shelter and YouGov.

In Shelter’s report, 49% of teachers surveyed said they had worked with homeless children in the last 12 months. Of those, 91% say they have noticed children coming to school tired, and 86% say that children have missed school. Children are also coming to school hungry, and falling behind academically as their temporary accommodation may not be sufficient for cooking and working.

One teacher, Chiara, reported that her kids are at a ‘huge disadvantage’:

‘I have students who have been moved miles out of their area. They get up at 5am just to make it in to school.

‘Some have been placed in temporary accommodation where they don’t even have locks on their doors. They hear alarms going off all night and people coming in and out. They don’t feel safe at all. It’s a vicious cycle because without a secure home, their education suffers.’

In England, there are currently 140,000 children in temporary accommodation, which means one in 84 children are homeless. Shelter are calling on the public to help through their Urgent Winter Appeal so the charity can continue to support those facing homelessness.

Shelter chief executive, Polly Neate, said:

‘An alarming number of teachers are bearing witness to the horrors of homelessness and bad housing that families tell our services about every day. Appalling stories of children falling asleep in class because they don’t have their own bed, and parents filled with worry because they can’t even cook a hot meal in their grim hostel without a kitchen.

‘The government must make renting more affordable and build decent social homes. Until then, we need the public’s support more than ever so that we can keep fighting for the families on the frontline of the housing emergency.’

Image | Shutterstock


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