Putting poverty on the agenda
last updated:24 Mar 2010
About 30% of the UK’s child population live below the poverty line, so it’s critical to understand how income poverty can produce educational inequalities. (Rys Farthing, CPAG)
A recent GTC hosted Equalities Forum brought together education professionals from a diverse range of organisations to discuss the impact of poverty, socio-economic disadvantage and class on educational attainment and life chances.
About the forum
Emma Westcott, forum chair, and GTC senior policy adviser said: ‘The forum brings together all the key education bodies, equalities bodies and teacher unions to make sure schools and teachers are equipped and supported to meet their legal obligations with regard to a range of equalities issues.’
The session, part of a series of themed meetings, included an update from the GTC on the Education Bill, and featured keynote presentations by the Sutton Trust, who promote social mobility through education, the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), a charity committed to ending child poverty, and the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
Rys Farthing from CPAG, and a keynote speaker, warmly welcomed the event. Rys said: ‘Some four million children, which is about 30% of the UK’s child population live below the poverty line, so it’s critical to understand how income poverty can produce educational inequalities.
‘We welcomed the opportunity to share and discuss with forum members the findings of our research on educational inequality, as well as looking at ways we can collectively positively influence policy.’
Also attending the event was Max Hyde, GTC council member, and lead on equality. Max said: ‘The GTC considers equality issues in everything it does, and this forum is a wonderful opportunity to show we’re doing what we say we’re doing, by bringing together education professionals to inform our practice.’
Pav Akhtar, head of diversity, at the Training and Development Agency for Schools, added: ‘We need to be able to take a forward looking approach when formulating a policy position on the potential impact of legislation on big issues like class and educational attainment.
‘The forum helps us do that, as it provides an opportunity to co-ordinate limited resources and to hear from specialists from organisations like the Sutton Trust and CPAG.’
Find out more
You can read all presentations made at the forum, including the GTC update on the Education Bill, and a look at educational inequality by CPAG using the links provided.