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Daily Mirror launches £1m “Help a Child to Learn” campaign for pens and books

Posted on: January 28, 2021 by Mariella Brown

The Daily Mirror has joined forced with the National Education Union (NEU) to ensure all children have the right equipment to learn after a survey revealed 95% of teachers are teaching pupils with limited or no access to basic learning resources at home.

The NEU has pledged £1m to the Help a Child to Learn campaign in a bid to combat the shortage of basic items such as pens and paper faced by some of the most disadvantaged pupils in the country.

Teachers said some pupils are using toilet paper or flyers instead of exercise books and others have had to be given crayons and pens by their school, a survey of more than 2,500 NEU members revealed in the paper.

Four out of five teaching members (81%) are seeing families ask for extra support from their school or college for resources such as pens, paper and books.

The survey found nearly half (48%) of teachers had bought pens and pencils for their pupils, a quarter (25%) bought glue sticks and a third (32%) bought paper.

Nearly a third (29%) reported buying books to lend to children who have no books at home.

The Mirror is aiming to raise much needed cash for kids working from home, with all the money raised going towards stationery and essential equipment for younger children still too young for online learning.

The campaign will initially target schools in England and Wales with the greatest number of pupils on Free School Meals. Offers will be made proportionate to school size, in gradients of £500, £1,000 and £1,500 – enabling them to purchase stationery for learning at home.

Jason Beattie, assistant editor of the Daily Mirror, said: “Help a Child to Learn is unfortunately a vital initiative between the Daily Mirror and the NEU to provide essential support to disadvantaged children and young people trapped in educational and financial poverty. Schools and families are struggling which is why we are urging the public to donate so that every child has the chance to learn, study and thrive in these difficult times.”

To donate to the appeal please click here.