GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

The Book Club - Poverty Safari

Earlier this year, GTC Scotland started its own book club in a bid to inspire and encourage registrants on their professional learning journey. Each local authority was given a book for a teaching professional to review.
We have received some fantastic reviews from teachers and educators across Scotland.

In this first review, Iain McDermott, Senior Professional Learning Officer at West Lothian Council, delves into Darren McGarvey’s Poverty Safari.

In this book, McGarvey sets out the huge amount of misunderstanding that exists around poverty. He does this through describing his own, frequently traumatised upbringing and through informed and well formulated narratives derived from years of working with the media and societal action groups.

This book is appealing due to the accessible narrative of McGarvey. The title moves through biting – at times shocking – and often funny, anecdotal storytelling to acerbic social commentary within which the author takes insightful and often controversial standpoints on why poverty presents such a complex set of issues for politicians and society shapers alike.

McGarvey rarely offers answers to the issues he raises. His honest, first-hand description of communities plagued by poverty is thought provoking and conscious pricking in equal measures. He presents no good or bad sides to this situation, but makes it very clear that responsibility to address these complexities lies across society.

This well-crafted and thought-provoking book should be read widely to maintain momentum in the debate around tackling poverty and to ensure equity, which is something we all have an opportunity to address.