The research revealed that living in temporary accommodation had a detrimental effect on a child’s education (Reuters)

More than 80,000 children will spend this Christmas homeless across England, Scotland, and Wales.

The Department for Communities and Local Government revealed that 82,528 children were in temporary accommodation in March this year across Britain.

According to homelessness charity Shelter, families have been forced into B&Bs and other emergency facilities, where they face increasing risks of violence, hunger and drug abuse.

The charity conducted an investigation on the issue by speaking to 25 families in England living in B&Bs.

The research found that sharing accommodation with strangers is unsettling for children and living in B&B can result in them feeling unsafe or witnessing traumatic events.

A majority (13 out of 25) of families questioned by the organisation said their children saw things "they should not have" and the experience "affected them".

Almost half the families reported very disturbing incidents witnessed by children, such as threats of violence against children, sexual offences, or the open use of illegal drugs.

"One of the reasons we left was one of the residents trying to sell us crack cocaine and he was causing anti-social behaviour and throwing bricks in the road outside the B&B and throwing stones up at a girl's window who lived above us and trying to bash her door down - we left the next day," said Kim, a mother of a three-year-old who took part in Shelter's investigation.

The research also revealed that living in temporary accommodation had a detrimental effect on a child's education.

Only nine of the 25 families Shelter spoke to said that the B&B was in their "home area".

The charity explained that being placed in accommodation a long way from school can result in a lack of space, lack of internet access, and the worry of being without a home. All this can make it very difficult for children to attend school or concentrate on school work.

Campbell Robb, the chief executive of Shelter, added: "Our shocking findings have uncovered the shameful conditions homeless children will be living in this Christmas. Parents and children sharing beds, children forced to eat on the floor and being threatened with violence in the place they live. This shouldn't be happening in 21st-century Britain."

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: "Families should only be placed in bed and breakfast accommodation in an emergency, and even then for no more than six weeks. The funding we've given, and our change in the law to enable families to be placed in suitable, affordable private rented homes, means there is no excuse for councils to breach this."