Child poverty in rural areas


Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland has published a report investigating children, young people, rural poverty and social exclusion in Scotland.

Written by Jayne Glass from the Rural Policy Centre of Scotland’s Rural College, the report finds that rural poverty accounts for 16 percent of all poverty in Scotland but is often less visible in urban areas and harder to measure. The ‘rural idyll’ can make their needs invisible.

A key issue is that it costs 10% to 30% more for families with children to live in rural Scotland than in an urban area. In addition, a lack of access to affordable, high quality and flexible childcare can be a driver of child poverty in rural areas.

Rural lone parents are particularly affected by greater distances to employment and childcare providers, more expensive travel costs and limited access to social housing. Educational attainment in rural areas can be affected by higher per capita costs of education provision, and local availability of specialist academic or vocational courses.

The review highlights the potential to develop place-based solutions to address the impacts of poverty and social exclusion on children and young people in rural areas. Taken together, the factors outlined are strongly linked to the well-documented need to support rural youth transitions. This support can come both from within the community (intergenerational networks and local institutions) and from outside the community (public policies and support mechanisms that are tailored to meet the needs of disadvantaged rural children and young people).

You can download the report in full on the Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland website by clicking the link here.




We are the Network for Social and Educational Equity, based in the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at the University of Glasgow. We work with governments, educational institutions, local authorities and teachers to promote educational change.

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About NSEE

The Network for Social and Educational Equity (NSEE) is part of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change (ROC) at the University of Glasgow.

It works in collaboration with schools, local authorities, Education Scotland and partner services to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap in young people’s education.

NSEE helps schools to use appropriate evidence and data within collaborative working approaches to critically examine context and current arrangements, make changes based on evidence, monitor the impact of these changes and reflect on what they learn.

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