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A drop in the ocean: the need for investment in children at school

03 June 2021
Yesterday, the UK government announced the next phase of its Covid education recovery plan with £1.4 billion to be spent on tutoring pupils and training teachers in England. This falls far short of what’s really needed to ensure that – as the prime minister puts it – “no child is left behind”.

New survey: families lack digital tools for home learning and worry more about costs

17 March 2021
More than a third of low-income families are missing essential digital resources for future home learning; parents had to make ‘impossible choices’ to decide who got access to digital devices and bandwidth while schools were closed; concern about money is higher than last year among poorer families; 90% of low-income families spent more on bills with children at home in lockdown.

Child poverty charities team up with NEU on new resource to help schools fight poverty

26 February 2021
Child Poverty Action Group and Children North East have partnered with the National Education Union (NEU) to publish a new toolkit to help teachers and school staff tackle poverty.

Educational outcomes without secure incomes

17 February 2021
Today, the departing Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, posed an important question in her final speech. She asked how the government can claim to be focused on educational catch-up on the one hand, while at the same time refusing to give families income security and risking more children being pushed into poverty. This is a crucial point. Poverty at home is the strongest statistical predictor of how well a child will do in school.

Open letter to Gavin Williamson on home learning

11 January 2021
Today we and Children North East have sent an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson MP, which lays out a set of guiding principles that we advise the government to use to make decisions about home education during this lockdown period.

Two in five UK children under the poverty line are not eligible for free school meals

03 December 2020
Prior to the pandemic, at least two in five school-age children - 1.3million - who lived below the UK’s poverty line were not entitled to free school meals, new analysis from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows. All of these children are in families in low paid work but do not qualify because of stringent eligibility criteria, the analysis finds.

Wales: Over half of children in poverty missing out on free school meals

16 October 2020
New analysis from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) finds that over half of children in Wales who live below the UK poverty line are not entitled to free school meals. Of the 129,000 school-age children living below the poverty line in Wales, over 70,000 are not eligible, mainly because their parents are in low-paid jobs which take them over the eligibility threshold.

New toolkit to help London schools tackle poverty

15 October 2020
With child poverty likely to rise sharply as the UK enters a coronavirus recession, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Greater London Authority (GLA) have produced a practical toolkit to help London schools tackle poverty in the classroom.

Learning after lockdown: school bells herald extra costs

03 September 2020
This week, schools in England will open their doors to their full school community for the first time in almost six months. We know that families with children have been hardest hit by the economic effects of the pandemic, with 2 in 5 facing financial difficulty, and that the lowest paid have been most badly affected. In this perfect storm of a difficult lockdown and worsening household finances, there needs to be much more focus on family income as children return to school.  

Cost of learning in lockdown: Anna’s story

03 July 2020
As part of the research for our Cost of Learning in Lockdown report, we conducted some interviews with parents and carers from across the UK, who shared with us their family’s experience of school closures. We’re now publishing some of these interviews on our blog, to shine a light on these important stories and the issues that they bring up.