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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 April 2018

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

Some teachers have kept their schools open on snow days so their students can still get a hot meal, photo Matt J Newman (Creative Commons)

Some teachers have kept their schools open on snow days so their students can still get a hot meal, photo Matt J Newman (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Tessa Warrington, East Midlands Socialist Party

"My children have grey skin, poor teeth, poor hair, poor nails. They are thinner... when you see them with children of the same age who are from an affluent area, they just look tiny."

Horrifying research published by the National Education Union (NEU) together with the Child Poverty Action Group has again highlighted worsening child poverty in Britain.

Delegates at the NEU's recent annual conference commented that schools are increasingly forced to fill the gaps left by cuts to local government and social services.

"We are expected to be social workers, carers, doctors. We are expected to deal with every issue at the same time as doing all the other things that the government wants us to do," said one.

Shoes

Others described keeping their school open during the snow to ensure children could get a hot meal, and delivering shoes to homes so pupils could get to school.

The NEU survey revealed that 4.1 million children currently live in poverty, predicted to rise to five million by 2021. As reported on the front page of the Socialist in March, around a million children are also expected to lose access to free school meals due to Tory means-testing of universal credit.

By kicking people off benefits the Tories twist the figures to claim poverty is decreasing. First-hand experience screams that the opposite is true.

We need councils that will stand up and refuse to pass cuts that harm our children. We need unions like the NEU to be prepared to take decisive action in defence of education and pay. Coordinated strikes have the power to push the Tories back - and out power altogether.

Striking school teachers in Virginia, USA demonstrated what workers can achieve when we fight together. They also organised food on the picket lines for their students who face the same conditions of poverty as ours.

This is not a coincidence. It is a product of the profit-driven capitalist system. Let's fight for a socialist future for all.

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In The Socialist 11 April 2018:


What we think

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No to bombing Syria


Socialist Party news and analysis

Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts


Socialist Party comments and reviews

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Moving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

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Related links:

Child poverty:

triangleValentine victory: School strike beats council cuts

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

triangle250,000 families in "non-decent" homes

triangleWorking families 50 a week short of paying for kids

triangleMajority of kids poor in some areas

Strikes:

triangle4 June - Walk out against Trump! Climate criminal not welcome

triangleStrikes against poverty pay and job losses - vote Yes in pay ballot

triangleVital local strikes and a national pay ballot - vote for a fighting leadership

triangleNewham bin workers ballot for strikes

Poverty:

triangleKnife crime tragedy linked to council cuts

triangleTake the wealth off the super-rich

triangleMitie workers striking against poverty pay

Cuts:

triangleHome carers victory

triangleHaringey: Socialists' stance fully vindicated

Children:

triangleDay of action against cuts to special needs education

School:

triangleHull dinner ladies protest against loss of week's pay

Tories:

triangleDomestic abuse accommodation: Tories shift - but safety is more than a bed

Government:

triangleSri Lanka - Ten years after the brutal end of the war

Education:

triangleSchool staff demand action on pay and testing at NEU conference

Social workers:

triangleBlairite cuts and restructures make social work dangerous

Schools:

triangleEnd high-stakes testing in primary schools: build the boycott ballot!

National Education Union:

triangleLabour councils must act now to save our schools!

Local government:

triangleUnion action needed to fight Tory Derbyshire Council cuts

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