Figures released by Buttle UK, a charity working with disadvantaged children, suggests that up to 400,000 school children don’t have a bed of their own to sleep in. As a result, scores of children are suffering from a lack of sleep, leading to a drop in their ability to concentrate and excel during lessons.
Without a bed of their own, children are sharing with brothers and sisters, parents and step-parents, or sleeping on sofas and floors.
In a recent article for Tes, Buttle UK revealed that last year alone, it had donated 3,217 beds to families in need, treble the amount it distributed 10 years ago.
‘I can’t say there’s an absolute reason why it’s getting worse,’ Gerri McAndrew, the charity’s chief executive told Tes. ‘But we do know the numbers of children living in poverty are rising all the time – the huge impact of austerity cuts and changes to the welfare-benefits system.’
‘If children have a lack of sleep, they’re a bit more irritable,” she said. ‘There’s lots of lack of concentration.
‘Symptoms go from being withdrawn and listless, not participating, through to behaviour problems.’
You can find out more and support the work of Buttle UK here.