13 years of Tory rule laid bare
Since the Tories came to power in 2010, Britain has experienced more than a decade of wage suppression, eye-watering cuts to public services and a systematic dismantling of the welfare state. Today, new statistics have been published which illustrate the devastating social consequences of the Tories’ ruinous economic policies.
A new report from the National Federation for Education Research (NFER) has exposed the shocking scale of child poverty in England. The NFER surveyed senior leaders and teachers at state funded primary and secondary schools, and the results were staggering:
- 90 per cent of all schools were found to be providing uniforms and clothing to pupils
- 70 per cent of schools were found to be providing food through parcels, food banks, food vouchers or subsidised breakfasts.
- 84 per cent of senior school leaders report that the cost of living crisis has increased the numbers of pupils requiring additional support and the level of need they have.
- More than a quarter of pupils in mainstream school require additional support for mental health and wellbeing.
- 80 per cent of school leaders agree that cost of living pressures have increased safeguarding concerns and/or incidents in their schools.
- More than three fifths of mainstream school leaders report that 50 per cent or more of pupils receiving additional support are not eligible for pupil premium (a scheme that provides additional funding for disadvantaged pupils).
All of this is happening at a time when school budgets are in a perilous state after years of cuts to funding. Between 2010/11 and 2022/23, spending per pupil in England fell by 4 per cent.
Speaking on the findings, Jenna Julius, NFER research director and the report’s co-author said: “Schools are providing unprecedented levels of urgent support. Pupils whose most basic needs are not being met – whether it is going to school hungry, or being unable to afford uniform or transport costs – are less likely to attend school and successfully engage with learning.
“Without urgent action now there is a risk that the crisis will have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts on pupils.”
Could there be a more damning indictment on 13 years of Tory rule than children going to school hungry?
Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward
Image credit: Simon Walker / Number 10 – Creative Commons