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Church of England school to buy washing machine as families can't afford to

by Eno Adeogun

St Paul's Church of England Primary School in Stoke on Trent is among a soaring number of primary schools that have pupils who are forced to forgo basic hygiene.

Nicola Finney, head teacher at the school said: "We now make allowances in our very tight school budget to make sure we can buy personal hygiene and washing items, such as toiletries, washing powder and toothpaste, as well as spare uniforms, shoes and deodorant, because we know increasing numbers of families simply can't afford to buy them."


She said she has had to spend hundreds of pounds of her own money buying items for students.

"We have seen significantly more children coming into school with washing and hygiene issues over the last few years. It used to be just a couple of children across the school, but now there are two or three in every classroom dealing with these issues.

"I've spoken to teachers across the country and they are doing the same as us. We want all of our pupils to get the best outcomes, not just those that can afford the basic essentials to keep themselves and their clothes clean and presentable."

A survey of 2,000 parents by In Kind Direct, a charity founded by the Prince of Wales, found that more than 40 per cent of parents with primary school children have had to sacrifice basic hygiene or using cleaning products because they cannot afford them.

It also found some 18 per cent admitted their child wears the same underwear for at least two days in a row.

Robin Boles, In Kind Direct chief executive, said: "The results of our latest study are a shocking reflection of the growing scale of family hygiene poverty across the UK.

"Teachers are increasingly being relied upon to step in to provide pupils with everyday essential products because their parents simply can't afford to make ends meet. Alongside this, we have seen a sharp rise in the number of people who are increasingly relying on support from the charities across the UK to which we supply products.

"It is clear that hygiene poverty is hitting families hard and is having a huge impact on children's well being at school."

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