Bellingham Cllr Alan Hall joined over 750 local councillors by signing a letter to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson calling for more support with free school meals, so that no child is left behind.
The letter, which was coordinated by the NEU’s Councillors’ Network, calls on the Government to ensure children from low-income families have access to Free School Meals (FSM).
Currently more than 1.7million children and young people in families in receipt of Universal Credit are missing out on this vital support all year round. Many of these families are surviving on less than £20.27 a day.
Budget cuts have also reduced funding available to local authorities to sustain and develop vital child and family services which relieve the burden on schools, enabling them to focus on teaching and learning. Similarly, as research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown, Government cuts to local authorities are disproportionately affecting the poorest places and the poorest groups.
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: ” No child should be going hungry during the day yet millions are. This has a huge impact on their learning and well-being. The pandemic highlighted the desperate situation many families cope with day in day out. We welcome the fact that Government acknowledged Marcus Rashford’s powerful campaign and extended the provision of Free School Meals over the school holiday period but that still leaves a great many families struggling without enough money to put food on the table.”NEU-Local-Councillors-FSM-letter-to-Prime-Minsiter-26_02_21