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Hunger in English schools: the shocking stats

As the cost of living crisis continues to take its toll, more and more children are going hungry at school. This is a growing a problem that cannot be ignored, as it has a serious impact on the development and future success of these youngsters.



A Lewisham school pupil was found eating sandwiches with no filling so that they don't go hungry, according to a headteacher. Lisa Williams, Head Teacher at Rushey Green Primary School, recalled a child eating "just a slice of bread" as parents struggle to afford a nutritious lunch box amid the cost of living crisis. Teachers have also reported that some children are so hungry that they eat rubbers. Other children store food in their pockets to take home or steal snacks from others. Teachers even have to use their own money to buy food for these children


Providing free school meals would ensure that these youngsters are given a chance to learn and thrive, regardless of their financial circumstances. The Food Foundation report that there has been a 50% rise in food insecurity in households with children since April, affecting 4 million pupils. In addition, teachers who were surveyed as part of the Survation study on behalf of Chefs in Schools revealed that 88 % of children who come in hungry show excessive tiredness at school, with 84% easily distracted in class and 74% exhibiting disruptive behaviour.


It is critical that we do everything we can to help these children get the nutrition they need to succeed in school. There are 800,000 pupils in England whose parents receive Universal Credit but miss out on free school meals because the after-tax household earnings (excluding benefits) exceed the risible threshold of £7,400 a year. That is why More Curricular is supporting the new Feed The Future campaign urgently calling on Government to act on food and health inequality by expanding free school meal eligibility to all children in households on Universal Credit.

This issue cannot be ignored, as it has a serious impact on the development and future success of these children. Providing free school meals would ensure that these youngsters are given a chance to learn and thrive, regardless of their financial circumstances.


Feed The Future has drafted a message that you can send to your MP. Please take a moment to send a message to your MP urging them to support this important campaign.




More Curricular is an award-winning specialist provider of handwriting training and research-led assessment and learning tools for UK children and parents.

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