You can also explain different viewpoints or identify possible consequences of a course of action.
8 marks Knowledge
4 marks skills
Poverty has a very damaging effect on children. It is estimated that 1 in 4 Scottish children live below the poverty line and with the gap between rich and poor widening the numbers are set to increase to over 4 million by 2020 (K). The effects and consequences of poverty can be seen in the poorer parts of the country like Glasgow, where in the Gorbals 82% of children are said to be living below the poverty line (K). It could be argued that one aspect that is affected due to poverty is health. Poor housing is a consequence of poverty and the dampness and mould that occurs can have a devastating effect on a child’s health. For example, it is reported that 47% of children who suffer from asthma are from the poorest 10% of the population (K). Moreover, a quarter of low income families have reported that they have to skip meals as they do not have enough money to eat three healthy meals a day. As a result, a child living in poverty will not be getting a healthy balanced meal. Therefore it is clear that a child’s health will suffer and it can be argued that as a consequence of this a child who experiences poverty will have a shorter life expectancy (A). Overall, one can argue that the a child’s health will suffer if they experience poverty as the environment they grow up in can have a direct impact upon health which can be traced into later years (A).
We can also link poor health to other factors. Poverty is a complex issue and forms a cycle and be very difficult for children to escape. For example, social exclusion is an effect of poverty as lots of low income families struggle to provide luxuries (A). A of family of four living on £357 a week are classed as living in poverty if their income is below £357 a week, this is not a huge amount of money to go on holiday, pay for bus fares to go on family excursions or buy the latest fashion items (K). Consequently, a lot of children may experience bullying at school and this can impact upon their mental well-being as 1 in 6 children living in poverty have considered suicide (K). It is clear that poverty has many serious consequences, all connected as health and low income can lead to stress and depression (A).
If a child’s health is affected by poverty then the consequences of this can also have an impact upon their education and therefore have long lasting effects (A). By 16, children receiving free school meals achieve 1.7 grades lower at GCSE than their wealthier peers (K).6 At school these children may not see the importance or value on education as they have other issues to worry about and attendance may also be affected (K)As a result, leaving school with fewer qualifications translates into lower earnings over the course of a working life (A). To conclude, we can see that a child’s health and education suffers when they live in poverty. These factors are also linked as poor health can lead to low education attainment, the root cause all being poverty (A).