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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

Striking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

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:

triangleClimate strikes: trade union round-up

triangleMarches, blockades, strikes, occupations... How can protests win?

triangleSummer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

triangleJuly climate strikes: link up with the workers' movement

Poverty:

triangleKnife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

triangleBuild a working-class movement to force an election

triangleThem & Us

Cuts:

triangleSouth Yorkshire FBU celebrates halt to cuts

triangleTory meltdown - Organise to finish them off

Children:

triangleNotts child abuse scandal: Socialist Party demands action programme to prevent future cases

School:

triangleMoney doesn't make up for cuts - education unions must organise for funding and against Tory attacks

Tories:

triangleLobby of TUC: Upbeat meeting calls for trade union lead to boot out Tories

Government:

trianglePCS strike at BEIS: "The life we live is not liveable"

Education:

triangleStudents and workers unite against fees, low pay climate change

Social workers:

triangleBlairite cuts and restructures make social work dangerous

Schools:

triangleHuge workload, low pay and unpaid hours - a day in the life of a teaching assistant

National Education Union:

triangleCouncil seeks to take budget deficit out on school staff and pupils

Local government:

triangleTories prepare to attack education workers' pensions

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