Teachers fear today's children in danger of becoming a 'lost generation'

Teachers fear today's children in danger of becoming a 'lost generation'

Secondary school teachers are increasingly concerned that the children they teach will fail to secure a job on leaving school, according to research by The Prince’s Trust and the Times Educational Supplement.

Seven out of ten secondary school teachers said they were increasingly worried their pupils will end up on benefits, and more than one in three felt their teaching efforts were in vain because of the rising levels of unemployment.

“The recession is already damaging the hopes of more than a million young people who are struggling to find a job, said Ginny Lunn, director of policy and strategy at The Prince’s Trust. “Now young people in schools are next in line. We cannot allow them to become the next victims of this recession."

She said that with the right support school children did not have to become a “lost generation”.

“Government, charities and employers must work with teachers now to support vulnerable young people giving them the skills they need to find a job in the future,” Lunn said.

“Almost half regularly witness pupils coming into school suffering from malnutrition or showing signs that they haven’t eaten enough. One in four of these see this more frequently since the recession, with some teachers admitting that they often buy food for struggling pupils from their own wages,” said Lunn.

The research was based on interviews with 515 teachers.

Mentoring support is often the best intervention for working with disadvantaged young people in schools. But many teachers felt they didn’t have enough support to help children, and those that do, find it requires significant amounts of additional work on top of their usual school work.

More than two-fifths of teachers who spend time supporting disadvantaged young people "always" or "often" felt stressed when it came to supporting young people in their schools — and more than one in four teachers said they felt this way more often since the recession.

The Prince’s Trust runs programmes with teachers to help young people who are struggling at school, preventing exclusions, improving grades and giving them the skills they need to find a job in the future.