ASCL comment on Labour’s call for extension of free school meals

16/10/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on Labour’s call to extend the provision of free school meals to school holiday periods until spring 2021.  
 
Commenting on Labour’s call to extend the provision of free school meals to school holiday periods until spring 2021, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“The government must show that it is committed to social justice by extending free school meal provision to school holiday periods during this time of national emergency in which many families are experiencing great hardship
 
“Schools are working incredibly hard to help children catch-up with lost learning amidst ongoing disruption caused by rising Covid infection rates, and the pupils who need the greatest degree of support are often those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
 
“To then have a situation where they are potentially going hungry through holiday periods is very obviously detrimental to both their welfare and educational progress.
 
“We believe there is a longer term need to permanently extend free school meal provision for all eligible children and young people up to the age of 19 in schools and colleges during every holiday period.
 
“The recognised health and educational benefits of providing meals during term time should surely apply all-year round if we are serious about tackling inequalities.”