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Parents cut basics to fund schooling, says report

The Children's Commission on Poverty has carried out a major inquiry in conjunction with The Children's Society, with the aim of exposing the true costs of school life through young eyes.

It found that parents are spending around £800 a year per child on uniforms and sports kits while cutting back on basics such as food or heating.

Euan Holloway, policy officer at The Children's Society, thinks children are being put under considerable pressure by fellow classmates.

Speaking to Premier, he said: "Children are feeling embarrassed and even bullied because they don't have the same things as their peers. There's real barriers to education as children don't have access to get on well in class and can't afford to go on trips."

Sixteen individuals aged between 10 and 19 have made recommendations in the report to lessen the impact of poverty caused by the cost of schooling.

They suggested that all children who live in poverty should get free school meals, that school uniforms should be made more affordable, and that schools should not charge for materials, trips or activities that are an essential part of the child's education.

Euan Holloway, policy officer at The Children's Society:

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