Every day 60 children are made homeless in Scotland.

A youth group from Shelter Scotland told Reach about the issues for children and young people who have been made homeless. They also gave their ideas for extra help that might make school easier for them.

Did you know ….

Children who have been homeless or who live in bad housing are:

  • Twice as likely as others to leave school without qualifications
  • Twice as likely as others to suffer persistent bullying
  • 5 times as likely to lack a quiet space to do homework
  • More likely to run away from home.



Jade: Why might it be hard for Joe and his mum to get to school on time?

Chloe: Well it might be hard because, mum doesn’t have enough bus fare because, um, she’s running out of money. And sometimes it might be tiring. And he might be angry and sometimes he might not want to go to school.

Reach:And you’ve drawn in your picture a really long road.

Chloe: Well I’ve drawn that because it’s really long to get to the school and it’s like a half an hour to get to the school. So I’ve drawn a really long road with the bus going up.

Jade:And maybe if sometimes the school could actually pay for some of the bus fares and arrange taxis for maybe Joe to get to school to maybe help him a little bit there because the woman has no money and it isn’t fair on her.

Reach: What else might help?

Chloe: It might help if, erm, Joe’s mum could get an alarm clock to make them wake up earlier. And it would be really help, helpful, if they could move to a closer house to the school.

Reach: So Joe’s had to change schools 3 times in the last 3 years. What do you think him and his mum would have found hard about that Shannon?

Shannon: Trying to get new friends and fitting in with them. Cos if he does nae fit in then they might like think he’s the geek of the class. And he might not get the same help as he would have in his others school.
He might be more shy…. And it’s hard to find, like, moving schools – it’s like so fast. And like…he’ll have no home. He’ll have to go in a b and b or something. ….

Reach: And John, what do you think might help?

John:Well he might have friendly teachers and the buddies showing people… showing you about.
Like, like somebody in your class that you go in to. Then he could go to school clubs and trips, and try staying in the one school.

Chloe: How do you think Joe might feel about the meetings at the school with his mum?

Corrie Anne: Well I think Joe was feeling nervous because the people weren’t listening to him and he might have wanted to participate but they don’t know.

Chloe: How do you think his mum feels about the meetings?

Corrie Anne: I think his mum was feeling mad because it says she was shouting at the head teacher. And I think she was feeling very upset because it does say she started to cry.

Reach: So why do you think she was feeling so upset?

Corrie Anne: They weren’t listening to Joe, to Joe’s side of the story.

Chloe: What might help make the meetings better for Joe and his mum?

Corrie Anne: It’s probably his attendance they were talking about and like how he was getting to school, so they could help with funding so he would get in on time. And that would get him caught up with the work. They should make sure Joe has his say in it, and how he would like things to be run.

Reach: What do you think would make Joe’s mum feel less angry when she’s at the meeting?

Corrie Anne: I just think maybe funding – if the school helped a little bit more. Like maybe if their mum told them about their situation with being homeless then they would, like, feel ‘Ah that’s why Joe hasn’t been coming in. That’s why he’s missed so much of school’. I think Joe’s mum should be more open with the school.

Reach: So Reece what do you think might be making it hard for Joe to do his homework?

Reece: Well maybe because he’s not got enough books or he’s not got a computer. In case he needs to look stuff up. And because he’s missing out on a lot of school, because like when he’s off and he’s moved from school to school, he doesn’t understand the work because he’s been off. There’s no space for homework and he’s sharing a room with all his siblings so that means they’re all being loud and things.

Reach: So all his siblings are playing in the room….

Reece: Yeah and he can’t concentrate on his homework.

Reach: So Shannon what do you reckon his mum could do to help him at home?

Shannon: She could help him with his homework. She could help him get to school on time. She could get him a computer so he can do it on the internet. He’s got wee brothers and sisters so she could get rid of them, so he’s got time to himself.

Reach: So like she could take his siblings to play somewhere else?

Shannon: Aye. And also he’s not got a pencil to do his homework so she could ask his teacher, or he could ask her, for a pencil.