Since the start of the year, staff at primary schools across central London (which have a much more local catchment area than secondaries) have begun working with parents to help families avoid being evicted as the consequences of the reduction in housing benefit begin to be felt.
In Westminster, the borough most affected by the housing benefit cap, some schools could see up to 43% of pupils affected by the reduction in housing benefit, according to the council's preliminary forecasts, and across the borough 17% of primary pupils could be forced to move, internal data suggests.
Although the process is only just beginning, headteachers and school governors are concerned at the disruption and say that the process of trying to support families who face losing their homes is proving time-consuming for staff.
The cap on local housing allowance payments (the housing benefit paid to people in the private rental sector), which came into effect last month, is already causing an upheaval of families in central London, as parents who are no longer able to afford the rent on their family homes struggle to find alternative accommodation. Some families have already been forced into B&Bs or homeless hostels because the housing benefit they receive is no longer enough to cover their rent. Charities and local MPs say that over the next year, other families will be forced to leave the area, will crowd into smaller flats, or will try to meet the shortfall in rent by saving on food and heating expenditure.
Spin or is the economic adjustment starting to happen. Clearly lowering rents is out of the question...