Smith & Noble
Smith and Noble (1995) studied the effects of poverty on schooling. They found that low income families faced many ‘barriers to learning’ including:
Families cannot afford school uniforms, school trips, equipment, school textbooks etc. which can lead to children being isolated and bullied, and as a result they may fall behind in their school work.
Low income reduces the likelihood of a student having a computer with internet access, a desk, books and space to do homework.
Material deprivation can also affect the university choices of students. Raey et al (2005) found that many working class students applied for the nearest university because they could not afford the travel and/or accommodation away from home. Only 32% of working class students in the study were considering moving out of the family home to attend university, compared to over 70% of middle class students.
Once at university, students from poorer backgrounds suffer material disadvantages which affect their capacity to study. Students from the poorest homes are more likely to be working long hours during term-time than other students. As a result, they often miss lectures, hand in work late and produce poor-quality assignments.