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With your basket and my basket: Supporting children and families in poverty to educational success. Poverty Impacts on Learning Symposium Wellington Friday 24 May 2013. Donna Provoost and Kirsten Sharman Office of the Children’s Commissioner. What we will cover today.

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with your basket and my basket supporting children and families in poverty to educational success

With your basket and my basket: Supporting children and families in poverty to educational success

  • Poverty Impacts on Learning Symposium
  • Wellington

Friday 24 May 2013

Donna Provoost and Kirsten SharmanOffice of the Children’s Commissioner

what we will cover today
What we will cover today
  • The role of the Children’s Commissioner
  • The EAG and it’s finding on child poverty
  • Some context of child poverty in New Zealand
  • EAG Recommendations specific to education
  • Detail discussion on how provision of food in schools can support improved education outcomes for children in poverty
office of the children s commissioner
Office of the Children’s Commissioner
  • Independent Crown entity, with the role to advocate for better outcomes for New Zealand children under the age 18 years
  • Main functions include:
    • Monitoring and assessing the services provided under the of Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989 (CYF Act)
    • Advocating for the interests, rights and well-being of children
    • Promoting and progressing implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC)
the challenge
The Challenge
  • To advise the Children’s Commissioner on how to reduce child poverty and mitigate its effects
  • Final report released in December 2012
  • www.occ.org.nz
nz context
NZ Context
  • NZ has high levels of child poverty

25% or 270,000 children living in poverty in NZ (was 11% in 1986)

  • Child poverty is costly and affects everyone

about 3% of GDP per annum

  • Child poverty can be reduced

… but there are no inexpensive simple solutions: we need an evidence-informed, comprehensive, sustained effort

    • Many children do not have access to the resources they need to thrive.
some children are at greater risk
Some children are at greater risk
  • Young children experiencing poverty
    • as many significant aspects of child development occur in the earliest years and harm in this period has life-long impacts
  • In New Zealand, we need to give specific attention to:
    • overcoming inequalities for Māori and Pasifika
    • the particular issues facing children in sole-parent families
    • children facing severe and persistent poverty
so who is growing up in poverty
So who is growing up in poverty?

Children living in poverty and their families are diverse and there is no one typical “poor child”.

  • Family structure
  • Income source
  • Ethnicity
  • Housing tenure
  • Age of children
  • Size of families
  • Geographical area
what does this mean for children
What does this mean for children?
  • Short-term impacts include
    • Poor nutrition and going to school hungry
    • living in a cold damp or crowded house
    • missing out on important childhood opportunities like school outing and sports activities
    • lower educational achievement
    • poor health
  • Life-time impacts include
    • reduced employment prospects, lower earnings, poorer health, higher rates criminal offending
slide9

The experiences of childhood are not like footprints in the sand.

They are more like footprints in cement – long lasting

what do kids say
What do kids say?

“Poverty is…not getting proper opportunities like going on school trips, hard to take part in things like sports and other activities”.

“Poverty is…moving houses, always moving – stressful. Having to move in the middle of the night – unable to pay rent, scary. Don’t make a lot of friends if moving a lot.”

“Poverty is…children left home alone as parents need to work. Children having to stay at home to look after brothers and sisters.”

solutions to child poverty need to cover a range of factors
Solutions to child poverty need to cover a range of factors
  • Stable, nurturing family
  • Supportive community
  • Affordable, safe, healthy homes
  • Accessible health services
  • Adequate income, through employment and welfare support
  • Supportive education sector
education and child poverty
Education and child poverty
  • The education sector can have a substantial impact on poverty in the long term (by breaking the intergenerational cycle) and can mitigate some short term effect
  • Poor children more likely to have lower educational achievement, and
    • Have fewer resources and sources of stimulation, affecting early cognitive development
    • Go to school hungry
    • Move house and school multiple times
    • Live in an overcrowded home with inadequate space to do homework
  • Quality teaching and leadership is a critical lever for engaging and addressing the learning needs of disadvantaged children
what eag recommended that the education sector should do to mitigate effects of child poverty
What EAG recommended that the education sector should do to mitigate effects of child poverty
  • Increase access to quality early childhood education services (ECE) for poor children
  • Improve support and prioritization of services (from ECE to tertiary) for children with disabilities
  • Support collaborative food-in-schools programmes
  • Expand access to evidence-based behavior support interventions for parents and teachers
what education sector can do to mitigate effects of child poverty
What education sector can do to mitigate effects of child poverty
  • Provide youth-friendly health and social services (including mental health, sexual health and contraceptive support) in secondary schools
  • Ensure young people who are pregnant and/or parenting are supported to remain engaged in education
  • Ensure all schools provide appropriate after-school opportunities for poor children
  • Expand before-school, after-school and school holiday programmes for poor children (aged 5-13 inclusive) to provide richer learning experiences
background
Background
  • Around 15% of children go to school without breakfast every day
  • These are concentrated – e.g. estimated 25% of children in Waikato decile 1 and 2 schools
  • Children and young people from lower SES backgrounds achieving less success in education
why food in school
Why food in school?
  • Long-term impacts of poor nutrition e.g. brain development
  • Short-term impact of being hungry on attendance, working memory, attention, behaviour
  • Separate impact on mental health of persistent hunger/food insecurity
effective teaching and learning
Effective teaching and learning
  • Education success literature
    • Effective links between schools and other cultural contexts in which students are socialised, and caring, inclusive and cohesive learning communities are two of the ten factors leading to quality teaching identified by key research
    • Whakawhanaungatanga: culture counts
    • Teachers need to know children, their families, and where they come from
    • Importance of parental expectations, but they need to know what to expect
effective teaching profile
Effective Teaching Profile

Manaakitanga – caring for learnersWhakapiringatanga – classroom managementKotahitanga – unity and reflecting together

what s happening now
What’s happening now?
  • Most schools that identify a need, do something about it: formal and informal
  • Government
    • Fruit in Schools
    • Health promotion through DHBs
  • Charities/business
    • KidsCan
    • KickStart breakfast programme
    • Fonterra milk in schools programme
    • Lots and lots of individual things happening
elements of good practice
Elements of good practice
  • Food provided of good nutritional quality
  • Programmes get to children who need them
  • Programmes involve children, families and communities in both design and implementation
  • Programmes avoid stigmatisation, dependence, and waste/promote fiscal responsibility
  • Programmes take account of different cultural practices and requirements
  • Programmes take a health-promoting and a whole-school approach, integrated into teaching and learning
a possible framework
A possible framework
  • Optional for all schools and ECEs
  • Best practice guidelines to schools and ECEs to design their own programme
    • Nutrition, meal planning, cooking
    • How to design a programme that doesn’t stigmatise or create dependence
    • How to use food in literacy, numeracy, science
    • How to get parents/businesses/volunteers on-side
  • Coordination support available to schools and ECEs, but schools and ECEs must lead interactions
  • Co-funding from Government for programmes that meet guidelines
    • More for lower decile schools and ECEs
    • Less or none (but access to guidelines & coordinators) for high decile schools and ECEs