Received from: National Education Union
Congress recognises the growing poverty in our society and that differences in the social background of pupils are the primary factor causing inequality in educational outcomes.
Levels of child poverty remain at an unacceptable level, rising from 3.9 million to 4.2 million last year. Many families living in poverty are surviving on low wages and 71 per cent of children living in poverty are in working households.
Congress notes that the cost-of-living crisis has further exacerbated inequality and will leave millions of families on or below the poverty line. By the end of 2022, soaring inflation had left households £800 poorer, the biggest fall in more than a century. In the UK, 800,000 children are living in poverty but are not eligible for free school meals, while almost four million are experiencing food insecurity.
Congress recognises that we, the trade union movement, have a responsibility to show solidarity with workers, families, and children by making it clear that the government has utterly failed these students through a decade of failure to address poverty.
i. condemns the inadequate support to schools during and after the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of support for pastoral and socio-emotional development
ii. calls for the TUC to continue to campaign for free school meals for all primary school children, and the removal of barriers to learning for children such as inadequate social security and costs of schooling
iii. calls on education unions to jointly advocate for free school meals and ambitious social policies to end poverty.
National Education Union