Congress condemned the inequalities
in education, linked to poverty, which
blight the life chances of many of Scotland’s
children, and prevent them from taking
up places in colleges and universities.
It threw its weight behind an EIS call
for targeted spending to tackle poverty,
research based anti-poverty strategies
at school and Local Authority level,
a programme of awareness raising for
teachers on the impact of poverty on
pupils and improved access to higher
Backing the motion, UNISON's Susan Kennedy
obvious that a child that arrives at
school hungry doesn’t have an equal
opportunity to learn and develop reach
that their classmates have.
"It’s obvious that a child
that misses lessons because free school
transport has been cut back and their
parents either won’t
or can’t make
finding the bus fare a priority, isn’t experiencing an equal chance
to learn and grow.
"Congress - this motion is a recognition
that what happens OUTSIDE the school
has an impact on what happens INSIDE
the school and shows the determination
of our movement to tackle the injustice
being meted out to children."
While the motion has many helpful and
constructive solutions, Susan warned:
"We must never forget that the best
way to tackle the effects of poverty – is
by tackling poverty."
Susan added: "We had some fine
words from Alex Salmond yesterday and
we should certainly welcome the joint
statement he has published with the STUC
about the role of union reps. But I have
to tell the First Minister - you won’t
tackle child poverty in Scotland if you
allow the wages of already low paid women
in Local Government,
the NHS or Voluntary sector to decline further."
The motion showed that this movement
cares about "inequality of opportunity
sections of society either don’t
see or don’t care that there is
a problem", said Susan.
17 April 2013