Children living in poverty in Edinburgh are marked out for stigma even before they get to school, and may never lose that scar, accordingto a report to the city’s education, children and families committee yesterday.
15,000 children in the capital are officially designated as living in poverty, with every ward affected. The number is expected to rise to 19,000 within the next five years, while “in work” poverty – in which one person in a household is working but their income is below poverty level – was also expected to grow significantly.
John Heywood, the council’s lead officer on tackling child poverty, said: “The gap with more affluent peers is pronounced well before children in poverty start school and continues to widen as they move up through the school system. There is a hardening of attitudes towards people living in poverty, and that includes children, and people are increasingly willing to blame some sort of individual failing rather than structural issues. There is therefore a strong stigma associated with poverty.”