Education news

Behaviour issues and family problems rise among children in poverty

Buttle UK is calling for longer term solutions to the "digital divide"

THE majority of support workers have seen a surge in behaviour problems and family issues among children living in poverty during the pandemic, a report suggests.

Around three in four frontline workers report a greater need for mental health support, more behaviour issues and difficulties in parent-child relationships amid the Covid-19 crisis.

More than four in five support workers have seen increases in young people's mental health problems during lockdown, according to the survey by children's charity Buttle UK.

Struggling to afford basics including food, and parents not having any down time away from their children, has led to "increased tensions in many families".

Nurseries, schools and colleges closed their doors to the majority of pupils in March, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable young people.

The poll, of more than 900 child support workers across Britain and Northern Ireland, found 36 per cent of respondents said there would be barriers around getting back into a structured routine, while 30 per cent warned that there would be issues around gaps in schooling and catching-up.

The biggest barrier to home-schooling among vulnerable children during lockdown was digital access, the report suggests, as many children have been trying to access their schoolwork through parents' phones as this is often the only form of digital equipment in their home.

More than one in seven said children have not been home-schooled at all during the lockdown period.

Buttle UK is calling for longer term solutions to the "digital divide", as well as support for children which looks beyond just catching up academically and focuses on young people's wellbeing.

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