Schoolchildren given chance to learn about housing and homelessness via new online resource
Shelter Scotland creates online resource for young people.
Scotland’s schoolchildren are to be given help to learn about housing and homelessness so future generations understand what causes homelessness.
Pupils and teachers across Scotland have helped housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland to create new online Social Studies learning materials for primary three to seven classes and secondary first to third years.
The learning materials – which cover homelessness, housing, poverty and welfare – can be accessed and downloaded for free via shelterscotland.org/schools.
Shelter Scotland said it was motivated to create the dedicated online resource after research it conducted showed that younger people were less likely to agree that homelessness could happen to anyone, while, statistically, younger people are over-represented in homelessness statistics.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:
“For over a year now, we’ve been running our Homelessness: Far From Fixed campaign to highlight the shockingly high numbers of people who don’t have a permanent home to call their own and the urgent need to do something about it.
“Our research last year suggested that younger people may not realise the risks that exist and the need for homelessness prevention. We hope that by helping teachers educate Scotland’s children about the issue, it will raise awareness among the next generation of young adults.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“Tackling and preventing homelessness throughout Scotland remains a key priority for the Scottish Government. The recently formed Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group is looking directly at how we end rough sleeping and transform the use of temporary accommodation, and we have also established a £50 million Ending Homelessness Together Fund to drive change and improvement.
“Ensuring our young people understand the causes of homelessness is key to reducing the chances of them finding themselves in that situation in the future. I welcome this initiative from Shelter Scotland to raise awareness of the issue among Scotland’s school children and would urge schools to make use of the materials.”
Young people are overrepresented in the homeless system. With a growing private rented sector, and changes to young people’s entitlement to housing benefit, more young people than ever are at real risk of needing housing advice and support. Last year, 46% of Shelter Scotland clients were aged between 16 to 34.
Teachers and pupils at Corstorphine Primary School were among those who helped to write, test and trial the lessons. Their ‘One Planet Group’ group, which consists of pupils from P1 to 7, focuses on the work of Shelter Scotland and homelessness, learning about how they can have an impact on their school and wider community.
Elizabeth Gillies, Deputy Head Teacher at Corstorphine Primary School, said:
“Corstorphine Primary is delighted to work alongside Shelter Scotland – a link we have fostered over a number of years – and hope that our input of reviewing and trialling some of their new Social Studies teaching materials for primary aged pupils has made a difference.
“We are very pleased to support the launch of these new materials and look forward to working alongside our friends at Shelter Scotland in the future.”
Shelter Scotland’s resources for schools have been designed in line with the curriculum for excellence and also fit in with the UN global goals.