Posted: 24 October 2014

'There is an assumption that poverty ends at school- but that’s not the case.'

This blog was written as part of The Children's Commission on Poverty. The commission was led by sixteen children aged 10-19 to uncover the true cost of school life for those living in poverty, through young eyes. Gulwali was one of the commissioners who launched the report 'At what cost? Exposing the true cost of school'. 

I became a young commissioner because I am passionate about social justice and want to play my part to reduce inequality and unfairness. I understand how it feels to be living in poverty and it is our moral duty and social responsibility to support and help those in need. 

The reason we felt the need to investigate schooling is because it is necessary to know and understand what school is like for children in poverty. There is an assumption that poverty ends at school, but unfortunately that is not the case. However, I strongly believe education is a key to success.  

School meals, for example, are an important subject because there is a lot of complexity surrounding them. People don’t see them as a problem, but it can be difficult for children living in poverty to afford school meals or get free school meals. 

There have been many highlights of being a commissioner. Our launch event at the start of the inquiry was impressive and inspiring, as was attending a meeting at the Department of Education Child Poverty Unit where we discussed the Government’s strategy. 

The inquiry was a good chance for us to find out what experts, policy makers and children think of child poverty, and to try and find solutions. I am very much looking forward to launching the outcome of the inquiry, which certainly has positive solutions to the problems of how poverty affects children in schools. 

People should realise that poverty exists and we need to take action to reduce it and do our bit to make the world a better place.

Read the report 

By Gulwali Passarlay - Guest bloggers