A quarter of teachers bring food into school to help hungry pupils

Teachers are having to bring in food to give their pupils breakfast every day because they are too hungry and exhausted to learn as a result of increased poverty, according to a report out today of behalf of the NASUWT. This is from the Independent

A survey of 4,000 teachers concluded that the educational opportunities for thousands of children were being blighted by the impact of the Government’s social and economic policies.

The survey, by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said 80 per cent of teachers observed pupils lacking in energy and concentration as a result of eating poorly…

He added that the Government should do more to tackle “the rising numbers of children being plunged into poverty and deprivation, instead of giving priority to tax breaks for the immeasurably wealthy”.

The report added: “Housing was reported as a significant problem with 27 per cent of respondents saying they knew of pupils who had lost their homes and 36 per cent saying they had taught pupils who were living in temporary accommodation such as B&Bs and hostels.

“Some teachers talked about the physical and emotional toll this was taking on pupils, many of whom were having to share beds, had no time or space for homework and were forced to travel long distances for school.”

…Almost three quarters of teachers had seen children coming to school hungry while 82 per cent said they had seen pupils inappropriately dressed for the weather conditions of the day because their families could not afford new clothes. A further 58 per cent saw pupils who were unable to afford a uniform.

More than four fifths saw pupils in clothes that had not been washed, nine out of 10 reported children wearing clothes which were damaged or frayed and four fifths reported seeing children who did not have appropriate footwear.

They were also turning up to school without the correct equipment for lessons, such as pens and exercise books, according to 77 per cent of the respondents. One in four teachers reported children being bullied because their classmates knew they were poor…

Asked what steps could be taken to alleviate poverty, teachers replied setting up breakfast clubs in more schools (64 per cent), tackling parental unemployment (61 per cent), increasing funding for schools (51 per cent) more support services (57 per cent) and parental support services (55 per cent). Respondents said breakfast clubs should be made free to those on free school meals…

More at: A quarter of teachers bring food into school to help hungry pupils

Any thoughts on which parts of the system are going wrong when children are not being fed properly at home? Is it as simple as blaming the government for cuts or more complicated than that? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Policy.


  1. SHaRon_oHaRa

    politicsinbrum SchoolsImprove If children are having to be fed by teachers’ own pockets raise it as child protection issue!

  2. JMercer

    I’ve worked at my present school for 17 years and in the last couple of years we have been giving food parcels to needy families regularly. The recession has really hit some areas.

  3. lalunathan

    SchoolsImprove I had students crying to me because their parents can’t effort to pack them lunch and their were hungry

  4. lalunathan

    SchoolsImprove As a results of the new benefits reform and as not all students are eligible for free school meal many would go hungry

  5. artmadnana

    SHaRon_oHaRa SchoolsImprove so where have you taught! I taught for over 30 years and saw this in every school I taught at!

  6. SHaRon_oHaRa

    artmadnana SchoolsImprove odd event extras maybe but daily basis? A safeguarding issue. Raise it! Get family some support.

  7. seanmurphy2711

    SHaRon_oHaRa SchoolsImprove I help at school where food’s brought in for pupils.I helped set up free breakfast club relying on donations.

  8. artmadnana

    SHaRon_oHaRa SchoolsImprove it’s not always an issue of families needing support. Sometimes lazy parenting.

  9. artmadnana

    SHaRon_oHaRa SchoolsImprove and sometimes issues around immigration, one parent families, temporary accommodation issues etc.

  10. SHaRon_oHaRa

    artmadnana SchoolsImprove if as you say lazy parenting even more an issue of neglect. Support comes in many forms. Not just money.

  11. artmadnana

    SHaRon_oHaRa SchoolsImprove Fine. Just don’t expect the educational establishment to do it all! Or doubt the altruism of teachers.

  12. spursgirlie1978

    SchoolsImprove i fed a child brekkie for nearly a year. Have paid for lunches for other wee ones. #coswecare

  13. SHaRon_oHaRa

    artmadnana SchoolsImprove believe me I don’t doubt staff altruism – but I see everyday how much we now HAVE to do – no1 else to do it!

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