How to ‘poverty proof’ your school

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Do your school policies unintentionally ‘out’ children from disadvantaged backgrounds? One charity says such occurrences are all too common and have proposed ‘poverty proofing’ as the solution. Lucy Edkins investigates

How to 'poverty proof' your school

Lauren doesn’t look at the register on the whiteboard. She doesn’t want to see the symbol denoting her free school meal (FSM) status. Instead, she sits self-consciously, as all around her produce an assortment of colourful stationery. Lauren has no stationery.

For the umpteenth time, she is reprimanded by a teacher who hands her a solitary pen.

At lunchtime, she orders a sandwich as normal. She would like a hot meal and a pudding, but doesn’t know what everything costs and is too embarrassed to ask.

In the afternoon, her teacher talks about a school art competition. He mentions prizes and ...

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