ASCL comment on rise in pupils eligible for free school meals  

Pepe Di’Iasio, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to new data from Department for Education showing there are now 2.1 million pupils eligible for free school meals.
The increase in the number of pupils eligible for free school meals reflects the very difficult financial situations that many families are facing. What’s even more concerning is we know that there are hundreds of thousands of children who are living in poverty but are not currently eligible, as well as significant numbers of pupils who are eligible but are not currently making use of the scheme. 
“All families in receipt of Universal Credit should have access to free school meals and there needs to be a system of auto-enrolment to ensure that no child is going hungry at school. The next government has got to do more to help families with the cost-of-living and make it a priority to end child poverty