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Teachers feed hungry schoolchildren

Nearly one in three teachers are feeding hungry children at school according to a survey


A survey of almost 1,000 teachers in England and Wales by YouGov, found nearly 50 per cent said some pupils are arriving at school hungry at least three or four times a week.

Around 20 per cent said that they had brought in food within the last 12 months for children who had not eaten breakfast.

Some also admitted to giving money to pupils in need of food.

NASUWT teachers’ union chief Chris Keates said: “Children’s lives are being blighted by poverty and the increasing financial pressures on families.”

Teachers also reported that hungry pupils were more likely to be lethargic and unable to concentrate, with half the teachers questioned saying they were also more likely to be disruptive.

Ms Keates added: “Poverty takes a physical and emotional toll on children. Children living in poverty often suffer more ill-health and absenteeism from school and cannot concentrate when they are hungry.”

“Teachers and other public service workers are struggling to pick up the pieces caused by this Government’s economic and social policies.

“The Government has a responsibility to tackle, not generate, poverty and homelessness.”

The findings follow a study by Cardiff university which claimed that children who eat breakfast are twice as likely to get above average results in tests taken when they are 11.

The study examined the links between the breakfast habits of 5,000 nine to 11-year-olds from more than 100 primary schools in Wales.

All ate items such as cereals, breads and dairy products before school and saw their performance improve.

According to national figures, around 85 per cent of schools now have a breakfast club in place.

The Government has pledged £1.1 million over two years to fund the provision of breakfast clubs in 184 more schools with a high percentage of disadvantaged pupils.

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