Tackling child poverty in Scotland

The continuing and historic struggle against child poverty in Scotland was highlighted in a feature as part of the STV Six O'Clock News on 13 September 2011 - connected with STV's high-profile appeal, which will fund related projects.

Shelter and Scotland's Poverty Truth Commission (http://www.povertytruthcommission.org/) were among those interviewed, with the Poverty Truth Commission's Elaine Downie pointing towards the damaging impact of deprivation on children at school, in the family and amongst peers.

Pioneer and visionary Robert Owen's New Lanark Mills social experiment, including the world's first infant school in Scotland, was a key part of the feature - illustrating the long-running effort to work for equality and to change and improve the conditions of ordinary people.

Owen felt education was vital. He built two buildings for the adults and children of New Lanark. They held evening classes, school lessons and social events. There were also bathing machines. Young children went to the nursery while their mothers were at work.

The Poverty Truth Commission reported earlier this year. Its practical and policy recommendations revolve around the necessaity of making people living at the sharp end of poverty central to proposals to challenge and end it.

"Nothing about us without us is for us" is the PTC's watchword, derived from similar work in South Africa.

* More on the Poverty Truth Commission from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/povertytruthcommission

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Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia. He is also assisting the Poverty Truth Commission with its regular news site (http://povertytruthcommission.blogspot.com/) and media work.

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