SCHOOLCHILDREN across Scotland are being taught about what it's like to be homeless with new online teaching tools.

Housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland have created the social studies learning materials which cover the issues of homelessness, housing, poverty and welfare.

Research from the charity shows that younger people are less likely to agree that homelessness could happen to anyone, while they are are over-represented in homelessness statistics. Last year, 46 per cent of Shelter Scotland clients were aged between 16-34.

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Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said that young people may not realise the risks that exist and the needs for homelessness prevention.

He said: "We hope that by helping teachers educate Scotland’s children about the issue, it will raise awareness among the next generation of young adults."

The materials, which are for primary three to seven classes and first to third years, can be accessed and downloaded for free via shelterscotland.org/schools and are in line with the curriculum for excellence.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said that tackling homelessness was a key priority for the Scottish Government.

He said: "Ensuring our young people understand the causes of homelessness is key to reducing the chances of them finding themselves in that situation in the future."

Teachers and pupils at Corstorphine Primary School were among those who helped to write, test and trial the lessons.