200,000 people set to lose their homes while hungry children resort to stealing food: Oi this is England.
Some students turning up to school hungry have been spotted stealing toast while others are skipping lunch because they can’t afford to eat, researchers found.
Charity Children’s Society revealed a teacher found two girls sharing a packed lunch in the school toilets because one had no money for food.
It published a study today, conducted with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers, which revealed that two-thirds of school staff said teachers are providing food or money for meals.
Earlier this year, ATL raised concerns about portion sizes, suggesting young children are being served “very small” school dinners and given limited choice despite paying more for their meals.
According to the Children’s Society’s figures more than half of the 2.2 million children living in poverty in England miss out on a free school meal each day.
The charity’s chief executive Matthew Reed said: “Something is going badly wrong when teachers themselves are having to feed children.
“Every child in poverty should be given a free school meal. Free school meals are key to moving children out of poverty and vital to helping them flourish.”
The Child Poverty Action Group said: “There are so many alarm bells ringing now over the devastating hardship that children and families increasingly face because of the government’s austerity agenda.
“It’s time those who believe in social security as a social and economic good to put aside differences and unite to defend our welfare state.”
200,000 homes face eviction, charity warns
About 200,000 homes were threatened with eviction last year, equivalent to the size of a city like Liverpool, housing charity Shelter said today.
The “truly shocking” report also warned that 75,000 children will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation on Christmas Day – around 5,000 more than last year.
Shelter named the 10 areas where families are most at risk from eviction, all of which were within London.
It found that Barking and Dagenham in east London had more than three times as many possession claims than the rest of the country, with one in 37 homes threatened with eviction.
Wolverhampton was the eviction threat hotspot outside London with one in 65 households facing the prospect of losing their home. Slough and Manchester followed closely behind, with one in 66 families facing eviction.
The report also suggested areas with higher possession claims also tended to have high unemployment levels.
Findings were taken from analysis of mortgage and landlord possession claims from the Ministry of Justice, covering October 2011 to September this year. The bulk of claims came from landlords.
These claims are the first step in a homeloan lender re-possessing a home or a landlord evicting a tenant – and not all of them lead to someone losing their house.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “It’s truly shocking how many people in this country are living with the threat of becoming homeless.
“In some areas, the risk of being evicted or repossessed is so high that one home in every street could be affected.
“Homelessness can happen to anyone. All it takes is one event such as a redundancy or relationship break up, and whole families are at risk of losing their home.”
The report was released on the same day the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said that it expects rents to rise by 4 per cent next year as strong demand outstrips growth in new rental properties.
An Office for National Statistics report last week found spiralling costs pushed squeezed families’ weekly spending to a new high last year – with petrol-related costs three times higher than fresh fruit and vegetables.