Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, pledges support to the Food Foundation’s demand for action on free school meals.
“We are very pleased to support the Food Foundation letter calling for free school meals to be offered to all children in families receiving universal credit or equivalent benefits.
“It is vital in general that free school meal provision is extended to more children but particularly so at this time because of the cost-of-living crisis which is pushing many families deeper into poverty. About one in five pupils in England are currently eligible for free school meals but we know that a larger proportion of children are classified as living in poverty – about 30 per cent – so a significant number of children in difficult circumstances are clearly missing out.
“Ensuring that all children who need this provision receive a free school meal is hugely important not only in terms of health but also education as children who are hungry are not in a fit state to learn.”