An increasing number of pupils in Scotland are going to school hungry and in some cases are stealing food from classmates, according to teachers.
Teaching union the EIS carried out a survey as part of its work on tackling the impact of poverty in schools.
About half (51%) of those questioned reported a rise in pupils coming to school without any food. The survey also found an increase in those taking free school meals and attending breakfast clubs. One in five (19%) identified an increase in the number of incidents of children asking for food and even stealing food from other pupils.
The union reported a 22% increase in the number of post-P3 children taking free school meals and a 27% rise in attendance at breakfast clubs. It also identified a 7% increase in the number of parents or guardians requesting referrals to local food banks.
On the issue of pupils' health and well-being, 71% of respondents reported an increase in the number of children displaying signs of mental-health problems including anxiety, stress and low mood. About half (52%) noted an increase in headaches, lethargy and weight issues among pupils.
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: "The findings offer a stark warning of the deep and damaging impact of poverty and the politics of austerity on children and young people across the country." Mr Flanagan added: "The fact that teachers are reporting such very high increases in both mental and physical health issues in pupils is a huge concern and highlights the true cost of political choices that have driven more families into poverty and widened the gap between the rich and the poor."
Post a Comment