Boris urged to give free school meals to ALL kids in universal credit households


Following demands from union leaders, Boris Johnson has been urged to provide free school meals to all children in Universal Credit families.

The pressure on the Prime Minister to expand the free lunch provision remains because cost of living continues to squeeze On Britons struggling to feed their families.


Free school meals made more widely available to children during pandemiccredit: Reuters
Former cabinet members and union leaders have urged Boris Johnson to expand the provision of free lunch amid a steep rise in the cost of living


Former cabinet members and union leaders have urged Boris Johnson to expand the provision of free lunch amid a steep rise in the cost of livingcredit: Reuters

Former cabinet members have been among those on the side of the government, as they did during the pandemic when provisions were expanded to reflect social and financial inequalities.

It is currently estimated that one in five students has already qualified for free schools, with more than 420,000 children falling into this category when coronavirus The first restrictions were enforced.

Pupils in England may receive free school meals for periods up to the end of two years, but older students are only eligible if their parents receive certain benefits.

Meanwhile, relatives universal credit Can only receive free school meals if their annual income is less than £7,400 without including benefits.

I was locked out of my HSBC account without warning - I need cash to buy food
Full list of £150 disability pay benefits

But, according to the governor of the Bank of England, with the cost of living on the rise and food prices climbing to “apocalyptic” levels, a row over widening the eligibility bracket has already begun in Scotland. Wales.

in an open letter to Rishi Sunki And nadim zahaviUnions and campaigners warn that school dinners are sometimes the only source of nutrition for children every day.

He said hunger can act as a “real barrier to learning”, leading to more social inequalities for children from poorer areas.

The group, which includes the boss of TeachFirst, said: “A quality school meal helps improve children’s concentration and behavior during lessons. We look directly at the impact they can have on improving school attendance, children’s health, and academic performance.

“However, the rising cost of living means that many more are now struggling to afford school lunch… we see the devastating reality of school-going children unable to buy lunch, Because their family circumstances mean they fall outside the restrictive free school meal eligibility criteria.”

The letter continued: “Now is the right time for the government to expand free school meals, providing a nutritional safety net that helps all children learn and achieve.”

Prime Minister He is facing opposition from lawmakers, including members of his own party, as it seems he continues to resist calls to increase school lunches.

Last Autumn, Chancellor Rishi Sunaki £200m per year pledged to support school meal program As Man Utd footballer Marcus Rashford called for guaranteeing children “one day’s meal” during the summer break.

But now lawmakers believe that the policies have not been pushed forward enough given the limitations of access to the provisions.

rising call

Backing union members, former Conservative education secretary Justin Greening said: “The government has a chance to avoid the free school meal mess that happened last year and get ahead of the next phase of the cost of living crisis for families. “

He said the government “should make appropriate summer vacation provision and rethink the funding of meals to schools to ensure that it does not fall short of inflation so that children are provided with healthy nutritious food.” “

Dr Nick Capstick, chairman of the School Food Review Board and head of Droove Primary School in Wiltshire, explained how many children are attending school that is undernourished or undernourished.

“We are also seeing our pupils spend time away from school due to illness and poor oral hygiene due to inadequate diet,” he said.

“Schools are faced with a need to support and often feed young people whose families can no longer eat right at home.”

Meanwhile, Azmina Siddiqui, Policy and Effects Manager at The Children’s Society, explained how the cost of living crisis is hitting low-income families hard “with many families struggling to afford basic essentials. “

In reference to Sunak’s proposed supportive measures, he said, “support for children was notably absent from the chancellor’s announcements last week.”

“The Children’s Society has long been calling for free school meals to be provided to all families receiving UC, which would provide targeted assistance to about 1.5 million more children.

“This would save a family about £400 per child per year, and ensure that children get at least one hot and nutritious meal every day.”

In response to the PM’s call to implement the change, a government spokesman said: “We recognize that millions of families across the UK are struggling to raise their incomes to cover the rising cost of living, that Because, in addition to the over £22bn announced earlier, we are providing over £15bn in additional aid, specifically targeted at those who need it most.

Deborah James' family gives update as she has one last slumber
TUI cancels hundreds of flights next month to cause more holiday breaks for Brits

“We have expanded access to free school meals more than any other government in recent decades, currently reaching more than 1.7 million eligible children.

“The Holiday Activities and Food Program runs during major school holidays, and comprehensive welfare assistance is available through the Domestic Assistance Fund, which helps vulnerable families with essentials such as food and utility bills.”


Source link

Leave a Comment