More pupils will go hungry at Christmas, teachers warn

Nearly two-thirds of teachers are worried that an increased number of pupils will be left hungry in Christmas holiday

Catherine Lough

Child poverty: Teachers fear more pupils will be left hungry this Christmas

The majority of teachers – 63 per cent – have reported that they are worried that more children will go hungry this Christmas compared with last year, according to a new survey.

In a poll of 549 NEU teaching union members, 59 per cent of respondents said they felt more children this year compared with last year would go without warm clothing over the holidays.


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Teachers also reported that their schools would take steps to support pupils’ families over the Christmas holidays, such as opening food banks and collecting for presents, clothes and food hampers.

The impact of child poverty

And nine in 10 of the teachers surveyed – 90 per cent – said that the next government must prioritise ending poverty.

Commenting on the survey, Mary Bousted, general secretary of the NEU, said: “At a time of year when children should be excitedly looking forward to the holidays, thousands are facing a bleak Christmas without enough food or warm clothing.

“Teachers see the impact that poverty has on our children and young people on a daily basis. It is no surprise that the majority of members believe the next government must end child poverty when they witness its impact on pupils day in, day out.

“In the fifth richest country in the world, we should not still be hearing the same harrowing stories from teachers worried about whether their students will have access to a hot dinner during their two-week break.”

 

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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