Teachers fear pupils will end up on the dole
New research released by The Prince's Trust
and the Times Educational Supplement warns that thousands of
teachers fear more pupils will end up on benefits than ever
Research released by The Prince's Trust and the Times
Educational Supplement reveals that seven out of ten secondary
school teachers are "increasingly worried" that their pupils
will end up on benefits, while more than one in three feel that
their efforts are "in vain", due to rising levels of
The research, which highlights the devastating impact of the
recession on teachers and pupils across England, shows how more
than half of teachers expect more pupils will end up on the dole
than ever before.
Speaking about the devastating impact of the recession on
teachers and pupils across England, Ginny Lunn, director of policy
and strategy, at The Prince’s Trust said; "The recession is already
damaging the hopes of more than a million young people who are
struggling to find a job. Now young people in schools are next in
line. We cannot allow them to become the next victims of this
With the right support, it is possible for
pupils to achieve their ambitions, rather than becoming a “lost
generation”. Government, charities and employers must work with
teachers now to support vulnerable young people giving them the
skills they need to find a job in the future.
Teachers are also witnessing increasing numbers of pupils coming
into school "hungry", "dirty" and "struggling to concentrate" since
the recession, according to the survey.
Almost half regularly witness pupils coming into school
suffering from malnutrition or showing signs that they haven’t
eaten enough. One in four of these see this more frequently since
the recession, with some teachers admitting that they often buy
food for struggling pupils from their own wages.
Meanwhile, more than eight out of ten teachers regularly witness
pupils coming into school with dirty clothes, with one in four of
these seeing this more regularly since the recession.
A teacher who took part in the survey said: "One student came
into school wearing a soaking wet uniform. He washed it in the
morning as his mother had failed to do so due to being inebriated.
He didn't know how to use the drier so came in wet."
According to the research, based on interviews with 515
secondary school teachers, mentoring support is the most successful
intervention when it comes to working with disadvantaged young
people in schools. However, two-fifths of teachers feel they do not
have enough support to help these young people effectively, with
many working more than 40 hours of overtime each term to do so.
More than two-fifths of teachers who spend time supporting
disadvantaged young people "always" or "often" feel stressed when
it comes to supporting those young people in their schools (45 per
cent) – and more than one in four of these feel this way more
regularly since the recession.
Editor of the Times Educational Supplement (TES), Gerard Kelly
said: “Things are tough out there for teachers, and for their
pupils. That many are faced with malnutrition is truly
Teachers have to work incredibly hard at all
times, and in times of economic uncertainty it is more important
than ever for everyone involved with education to work to ensure
that the poorest in society are not left behind.
The Prince’s Trust runs the xl and
Fairbridge programmes with teachers to
help young people who are struggling at school, preventing
exclusions, improving grades and giving them the skills they need
to find a job in the future.
Ginny Lunn adds:
Our schemes are proven to work, providing vital
support to teachers and giving vulnerable young people the skills
and confidence to succeed.