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Half of Students on Free Meals Don't Feel Safe at Home

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National children's charity, School-Home Support UK, says that of the 13,000 children they support, most of them on Free School Meals, nearly half don't feel safe at home.

LONDON, February 8, 2012 -- National children's charity, School-Home Support UK (SHS), revealed today that of the 13,000 children they support each year, most of them on Free School Meals (FSM), nearly half don't feel safe at home. SHS identifies and supports children who have trouble being in school and being ready to learn.  SHS's annual survey revealed that, in the preceding twelve months, their school-based professionals dealt mainly with children in homes where financial problems or poverty, the threat of homelessness, poor housing conditions, domestic violence, family breakdown or bereavement and mental health issues were prevalent.

SHS Chief Executive, Jan Tallis, commented "Children worry greatly about home and this can mean that they find it difficult to fully engage with their education. Nearly one million kids truant on a regular basis but many are afraid to leave home for school in case something awful happens or because their basic support needs - such as clean clothes or breakfast - are not being met. When we do get them into school they often exhibit poor concentration and disruptive behaviour. This affects their ability to learn, affects peer learning in the classroom and creates a route to poor attainment and success later in life. With the highest ever recorded number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) this is clearly a very big issue."

Tallis says they expect to see an increase in these figures over the next twelve months as economic hardship escalates, impacting on other issues such as mental and domestic wellbeing. SHS creates early interventions to tackle these problems in the personal and home lives of children so they can improve attendance and behaviour at school. "Our main aim is to ensure all children stay in school and do well so they can achieve their dreams and enjoy good lives. A recent survey among disadvantaged children revealed many don't think they will go to university, have a good job or earn good money. This is tragic," says Tallis.



  • School-Home Support is the only national organisation specialising in school-home liaison activity and has been doing this for 30 years
  • SHS currently provides services to 750 schools

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