Monday, 28 March 2016

A number is not an "increase"

Dear NASUWT (nasuwt@mail.nasuwt.org.uk)

Just read a BBC report which said :

"Increasing numbers of pupils are coming to school hungry, anxious and unable to concentrate because of family financial pressures, a teachers' union has said. The NASUWT union said growing numbers of teachers and schools were providing food, equipment and clothes for pupils."

Link : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35873541

But I can see no actual data supporting the assertion that numbers are increasing.Is this data available and, if so, where can one find it?

[To pick two examples "Almost three-quarters of the teachers had seen pupils coming to school hungry" and "Over a quarter had given food to hungry pupils" were mentioned, but neither say whether these levels are higher, the same, or lower than previous years. Seen this kind of thing before on BBC reporting]

[Also complained similarly to the BBC]

Part of article

Update : 8th April 2016
Received a response from the BBC saying :

"The claim that increasing numbers of pupils are coming to school hungry and anxious because of family financial pressures was attributed to the teachers' union NASUWT. The article provided details of some of the findings of the NASUWT survey in relation to these claims.The view that such problems were increasing was then attributed to NASUWT and the teachers’ survey. But, of course, it’s for readers to form their own views on the validity of the survey and its findings."

Update : 7th July 2016
Received a link from the NASUWT to a report that paints a grim picture of the current situation but does not provide any data showing whether it is getting better or worse. Which is a shame because that data, had it been present, would have been useful in challenging the government on their policies.

A couple of snippets from the report:

"Over a quarter (27%) of teachers had given pupils food...Over one fifth (22%) of teachers surveyed had lent/given money to pupils...."


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