A TEACHER has said that new funding from Manchester City Council has come too late to help child poverty in Manchester.
A £50,000 welfare fund has been set up in response to discussions with schools who have told the council how they regularly provide children with food and clothing.
A share of the funding will be made available to every school in Manchester, with them receiving at least £200 in April, depending on the number of pupils they care for who are eligible for free school meals.
A teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, has taught in Ramsbottom, Bury, Bolton, Stockport, Oldham and Rochdale over the last 11 years.
She said that child poverty is not a new crisis and help should have been made available before now.
She added: “The children I teach are lacking in basic items which would be expected as the norm for all.
“People assume that living in England, especially a seemingly affluent city, that provision would be made readily available for children without basic needs.
“In schools we see daily how this is not the case and we are providing, on a regular basis, food, clothes and hygiene items for the children out of our own pockets.
“I have been teaching for 11 years now and this is an increasingly common occurrence, even in so called affluent areas.”
Councillor Luthfur Rahman said that Manchester City Council have made funding available now due to national changes in welfare reforms.
These changes have hit poorer communities hard and children are living without basic amenities as a result.
Councillor Rahman added: “We’re very clear that the job of schools is to teach children and help them achieve their full potential, and not to feed and clothe them.
“But at the same time however there is no way a child is going to learn or achieve if they’re going hungry or can’t afford a pair of new shoes.
“We recognise that too often our schools are going above and beyond what should be expected of them in this and wanted to do what we can to help them, as they help some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the city at their schools who are suffering the effects of extreme poverty.”
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