UK & World News
Recession Causing 'Lost Generation' Of Pupils
Teachers are warning of a "lost generation" of pupils, with seven out of 10 concerned that their students will end up on benefits.
The findings, by youth charity The Prince's Trust, highlight the devastating impact of the recession on teachers and pupils across England.
More than half (54%) of teachers expect more pupils will end up on the dole than ever before due to rising levels of unemployment.
And more than one in three feel their efforts are "in vain".
The survey also found almost half of secondary school teachers regularly witness pupils suffering from malnutrition with increasing numbers of pupils coming into school hungry, dirty and struggling to concentrate since the recession.
Some teachers even admitted they often buy food for struggling pupils from their own wages.
The findings, based on interviews with 515 secondary school teachers across the country, come the day after it was announced the UK had fallen back into recession.
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 recession. 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."
Teacher Lynda Harris runs a course at Feltham Community College, in west London, helping young people develop the skills they need to get a job.
She told Sky News that pupils are suffering because money is tight at home.
She said: "It is quite shocking because young people do regularly come into school and haven't eaten or had their breakfast, and also haven't got their equipment and stuff.
"But because they're part of our XL Prince's Trust programme we have a breakfast club so they're fortunate enough to come in and have breakfast, collect their equipment and get the support that they need through us."
One teacher told researchers they had seen "scavenger pupils finishing off scraps, as they haven't eaten enough", while another said some pupils came into school "to have food and get warm".
A third 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."
Carmel McConnell is the founder and director of Magic Breakfast, which supplies free breakfasts to primary schools where "children arrive too hungry to learn".
"We're seeing a real increase in the need for this," she told Sky News.
"I'm stunned by how much need there is - we've got 100 schools on our waiting list right now.
"Lots of kids are going home to empty cupboards."
Ms McConnell said kids are being hit by a "triple whammy": financial hardship, parents working long hours and a lack of food and cookery skills in many families.
Sky News spoke to mother-of-six Anne Lloyd from Bracknell, Berkshire, who admits she is concerned about her children's prospects for the future.
Despite working two part-time jobs, she increasingly relies on the local food bank to feed them.
She said: "One of my children has got holes in their school shoes, and it's like do they want a friend to come around for tea or do they want a pair of school shoes. It is a constant worry."
The Prince's Trust insists more focus on support and training is essential to stop another generation suffering because of the recession.
what do you think?
whist I have sympathy with these students,Every one is suffering in this recession(a double dip one now) I was on the dole fr nine months, being single and over fifty, I was surviving on £65.00 . I never went hungry, But in one of the coldest winters we had, I sat for days in a cold house. Families can get help. I was not even eligable for a food bank box of food..we are all struggling!!!!
Not everyone is suffering only the middle income down to the poorest in this "Big Society"
And our government just spent 25billion on new fighter jets to hunt for oil! Austerity my eye! This government is evil how have we let them do this to us. Great Britain we should be ashamed of ourselves.
Totally agree with you.we need to look after our own.
The pupils have every reason to be concerned - their parents voted in Labour for 13 years and screwed everyone's futures. Few people understand just how similar Brown's economics had in common with ponzi criminal Bernie Maddoff
Is it any wonder we have a lost generation when we have arrogant super rich out of touch cameron and osbourne in charge -- they have constantly cut the agencies that work to support youngb people into work or college - they demonise young people as layabouts who dont want to get out of bed -- when super rich dave and osbourne have continually demonised them -- finance has continually been taken from schools with the building for the future - local education authority has been attacked - they have totally destroyed the infastructure to support young people -- and of course they have robbed pensioners to give extra pocket money to the rich -- yes the Nasty Party gets nastier and attacks the young and the old
we have had recessions before and not lost generations to the scrap heap ,but then we had decent teachers better families who worked together and we did not have the country full of imports ( thanks to 13 years of liebour ) .
Yes Mike, and where were you during the creation of Maggot Thatcher's lost generation of the 1980s? CONservative by name and CONservative by nature, eh?
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Its not the recession causing a lost generation of pupils, its useless teachers and successive governments since the 1960's engaged in social engeneering in order to create a dumbed down uneducated population reliant on state control.the British education system was the best ,It produced the backing of skills in demand the world over.Now its a joke the world over. State schools are producing kids most of whom are fit only for simple menial labour. Their qualificatiions are not worth the paper theyre written on.Judging by this report their parents along with the Gov.have given up hope.
Exactly. I left school in 94 with 5 GCSE's which was pretty good for that school, but the majority of the teachers were hopeless. Pretty much everything i know now has been self-taught using the wonderful resource of books and internet.
You don't mention useless parents. Manners and a good work ethic begins at home.
I wonder if you are aware of what schools are expected to offer! What more can they deliver than an academic education, communication skills, compulsory IT sessions, health sessions, health care, money awareness education, sex education, truancy officers (yes, the government has to pay for those instead of being able to make parents responsible for attendance!), breakfast (!) and so on. A fair deal, I'd have thought!
If things are so bad why do we need to change cigarette packets and introduce a minimum price for a unit of alcohol?
Cigarette packaging doesn't need to be changed and the minimum price is just more taxation.
Because smoking and excess drinking is bad for you and people need to be saved from themselves!
Do your bit to help create employment---stop using the self-service tills in supermarkets
Amelia Princess Hall
I hate the self service tills!At check out they even pack for me if ask :o)
I never do on general principle. Unless i get a discount that reflects the fact i have to do it all myself.
Totally agree. Our local B&Q have no manned tills at all. I have walked out twice in protest and wrote to their Head Office to complain but, surprise surprise, got no reply. Maybe I was supposed to reply to myself!
Spot on Brian, self assembly, self service, telephone menu job inteviews, this company doesn't like people!
Russell, below, took the words out of my mouth! I had to move away to get a job when I left scholl, but at least I could read, write and do arithmetic, and I had the right attitude as I enjoyed meeting people, helping them get what they wanted and I was polite.
Are you sure you could read and write, just a typo then. Sorry couldn't resist.
Yes, sorry. It was school, of course. I won't take the easy route of blaming the keyboard!
I imagine a few people were ready to jump on that!
Our top economists have admitted this is worse than the great depression as they were beginning to see signs of recovery this far in. We are not. There is no recovery in sight. We are not supposed to recover from this. We are entering new times which were never designed to be good for the worker.
So its worse than a time where if u didnt work u didnt eat as there was no beneft system?
you voted for this . you voted Tory the 80s are back thatcher s back
For those that don't know it, we donate a great deal of money to local charities, local young rugby clubs and the like. We also distribute food parcels to the Council Estates on behalf of the Salvation Army "for free" when asked to, which takes us usually about 3 hours, once a week. We are always amazed at the state of some of the houses we deliver these parcels to - They are filthy, lack decorations, clothes strewn all over the place, pizza boxes and fish + chip wrappers stuffed down the sofas, dog mess on the floor, no washing up done. These are the very same people that would rather spend their benefits on SKY TV, X-boxes, wide screen TVs, cigarettes and booze instead of buying food for their kids. It makes me wonder if its all worth the hard earned money we donate.
So Russell is blaming the useless teachers. Then get in there Russell. The Government is spending thousands on adverts to recruit teachers which they should not have to be doing in a recession. Obviously those not going into the job know something about it that you don't. Get qualified, get in there, and show the teachers how they should be doing the job. Having read your post I think that most pupils would give you 5-10 minutes before ripping you to pieces.
Go Dave! True, I think. My pupils would be hacked off to hear some of us called "useless". They are not ungrateful or bitter you see, like Russell!
Had I not emigrated to the US, I know I would have most likely spent the rest of my life on the dole. Here, in the US I have a business and a supplementary job (just in case)
This is just another excuse in the long list of excuses given by educationists for the declining standards of our education to point were our young people can't compete in the global jobs market for anything except being a pop star. It is not the recession that is the problem but the failure of the people involved to manage their own lives and not rely on other people to fund a lifestyle they can't afford.
A bit harsh, I think - our kids get a fantastic, rounded education, including mock interviews, sessions on money management, visits from experts in industry, reformed drug addicts, etc. I think they are more than well prepared by us and their parents. The issue I see is the attitude of now 4th generation benefits babies who are discouraged by lazy homes to even attend school in the first place. While I work hard and get good results, there is nothing much I can do to erase a deep-rooted work ethic!
Hi Movi, There are exceptions and there are a relatively small percentage of young people who despite the poor education standards succeed through their own initiative and positive attitude. I have experience of working with young people throughout the world and believe me our kids are getting a raw deal. This is borne out by the international educational league tables. The many of the best countries for education use a system based on the standards we used to use in the fifties and sixties.
I think some people of all age groups could take control of their lives a bit more than they do, God, I know things are tough right now but I got a job at 62 after 18 months off following an accident. You've got to put your face about and knock on doors, forget all the CV rubbish, they hardly ever get read, you can tell this by the amount of interviewers who ask ''what were you doing before?'' Was it Sir Alan Sugar or Sir Richard Branson who said ''if you want to suceed, double your failure rate'' !
Sorry, should read ''succeed''.
I don't think the recession has made a particular difference to what I see in the classroom - there have always been children from poor backgrounds and their parents continue to do a brilliant job in prioritising, making sure the kids have what they need first. However, the neglectful continue to find money for fags, nights out and booze and our breakfast club (encouraged by the Government, instead of sending a message to some parents!) is full. Now primary schools have a toothbrushing session each morning for ALL pupils, enraging the careful parents who are patronised and insulted. Result: message to parents: noo need to bother!
"noo" was a typo!
Russell has made my blood boil just a tad. Should I not have bothered getting up early today to mark those essays then? I don't know many outside my profession who regularly go to work during the holidays quite enthusiastically without begrudging their time. I think a few in here should retrain - apparently we start at 9, finish at 15:30, get 43 weeks off a year and a squillion quid salary to boot! I think you're jealous! Or perhaps the self-fulfilling prophecy will come true and the Russells of this world will get their way the day all teachers really are "hopeless"! Believe me, I have seen a few shocking ones but some of us are good eggs!
i'm with movvi on this one. It's no good keep blaming teachers for what is perceived as a lowering in the standard of education, because that is what it is, simply a perception. Kids are no different than fifty years ago. You have the bright ones, the average ones and those that genuinely struggle to learn. The bright ones went to higher education and higher paid jobs. The average kid went to 'hands on' work, usually an apprenticeship. The others managed to fit in somewhere. It's no good expecting teachers to churn out child geniuses week in week out, that is not going to happen. There are good and poor teachers, but most are good eggs, and today's parents are far more interested in their childrens education than they are given credit for.