On Being Normal and the Undeserving Poor

The Professor

Recently I attended a meeting of the Equalities Committee of my union, the EIS. We were discussing the impact of poverty on our children; their education, their health, their emotional and social wellbeing. We watched a short documentary produced by schoolchildren on the effects of poverty as they experienced it. Despite the fact it was the third or fourth time I’d seen it, I and the other fifteen or sixteen adults present, were moved to tears by the presentation. For me, the calm matter-of-fact way one young teenage boy described his life was heartbreaking. He talked of going to bed straight from school because the house was too cold to sit in. His medical conditions brought about by the cold, damp house he lived in and his inadequate diet. £5 was sometimes all there was in a week to feed him and his Mum when other bills needed paid. The…

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