Ellie Ames 22 December 2023

Half of teachers work with homeless children

Half of teachers work with homeless children  image
Image: DGLimages / Shutterstock.com

The ‘nightmare of child homelessness’ is damaging children’s education as they suffer exhaustion, hunger and poor mental health, Shelter has warned.

Research by the homelessness charity found that half of teachers at state schools in England (49%) work at a school with children who are homeless or who have become homeless in the last year.

In a survey of around 1,000 teachers, 91% said children who experienced homelessness were coming into school tired.

Children have missed school due to being homeless, 86% of teachers said, often because families are place into temporary accommodation miles from their local area.

Homeless children have come into school hungry, 87% of teachers warned, while 91% said children’s housing situations were negatively impacting their mental health.

Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate, said: ‘With one in 84 children homeless in England right now, the immense damage being inflicted on their education is a national scandal.

‘An alarming number of teachers are bearing witness to the horrors of homelessness and bad housing that families tell our services about every day.

‘How do we expect children to concentrate in class and succeed without a safe place to call home?

‘To end the nightmare of child homelessness the Government must make renting more affordable and build decent social homes.’

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