ITV News reports that the number of children who are going hungry at home has reached “heartbreaking” levels, the main teaching union has warned.
Four out of five teachers reported a rise in “holiday hunger” among children on free lunches whose families struggle to afford to feed them three meals a day through the holidays, a survey by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) found.
More than one-third (37%) said they saw pupils returning after the school holidays showing signs of being malnourished after starving for extended periods.
Kevin Courtney, NUT general secretary, said
“These are heart-breaking findings which lay bare the terrible impact of poverty on the lives and educational experiences of many children.
As this survey demonstrates, teachers are acutely aware of the distressing effects of poverty on the children they teach.”
Almost seven in ten teachers (69%) said that pupils’ social well-being was negatively affected by holiday hunger, while 57% of the 600 surveyed said their physical health was impacted.
Have you witnessed ‘holiday hunger’ in your school? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin
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