A government's shame as pupils go hungry
With food inflation expected to hit 17% early next year (Nabarro, 2022) there is a sense of foreboding looming over schools at what they will witness in the coming months.
Amid COVID recovery, an unprecedented mental health crisis among children and young people (Newlove-Delgado et al, 2022), and a frightening resurgence of Group A Streptococcus, schools are also witnessing many of their families being pushed to the edge financially.
The cost of living crisis, driven by record inflation levels (around 11% at the time of writing), is pushing many families into poverty and food insecurity. The impact is stark. A survey of 6 200 schools in England finds increased levels of pupils coming to school hungry and non-free school meal families being unable to afford school lunches. They also report pupils unable to concentrate, exhausted, and without adequate winter clothing (Sutton Trust, 2022).
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