Senior pupils from 17 schools across Glasgow gathered to debate and discuss poverty in the Glasgow City Council debating chambers yesterday as part of Challenge Poverty Week.

Pupils were asked how they saw poverty affecting young people in the local community, who the pupils felt were responsible for solving poverty in Glasgow, and how we can best solve poverty in Glasgow.

The hour was filled with avid discussion from the school pupils, who touched on a number of subjects, including social exclusion, the need to champion apprenticeships and vocational opportunities while at school, the cost of transport and raising wages for those on apprentice schemes.

Some of the issues highlighted were the lack of senior school children who opted into having free school meals which were available to them.

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A highly contentious element of the debate was that around the need for school uniforms, and whether they establish class-barriers or alleviate them.

Megan Leslie, 17, Head Girl of Lochend Community High School, said that the debate was particularly beneficial.

“It was very useful to see people’s views on poverty, because we all come from different places, and how we can help our community,” said Megan.

Councillor Chris Cunningham, city convenor for education said: “I could see that they spoke not only from their own experiences but had also sought out views from other young people in their local communities.

“They talked confidently about solutions to breaking the poverty cycle including boosting self-belief and mentoring and increasing access to and focus on apprenticeships, where young people can learn while they earn.

“We’ll be looking to see where their feedback can inform the different areas of the council’s work to tackle poverty.”