UK & World News
Teachers 'Giving Food Handouts To Poor Pupils'
Teachers are helping hungry schoolchildren with food handouts and money to buy lunch, a survey has revealed.
Thousands of pupils on the poverty line are missing out on breakfast and even lunch because they cannot afford to eat, ultimately affecting their concentration and performance in class.
According to the study by The Children's Society, more than half of the UK's teachers are seeing hungry pupils at school.
Almost three in four of those questioned said they have seen youngsters coming into school with no lunch and no way to pay for one.
Simon Fennel, a teacher at Conisborough College in Catford, southeast London, told Sky News: "I've quite often put my hand in my pocket because I hate to see the children going hungry.
"I can't see why I can't put my hand in my pocket just to help them out for that time."
The survey, conducted with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT), showed Mr Fennel was not alone as it also reveals two-thirds (66%) of school staff say teachers are providing pupils with food or money for meals if they turn up for lessons hungry.
Highlighting just how tough it was for some pupils on the poverty line who cannot afford to eat, one tutor said in the report: ''Myself and many teachers in other schools feed children with bread or crackers in the morning from their own budget.''
Sid Robinson, another teacher at Conisborough College, said: "It really does impact on the attention span of the children.
"They lose their concentration and make poor behaviour choices in class. It's compounded if they have not had breakfast and lunch."
The Government says it is committed to providing free school meals for those that need them the most, but campaigners say proposed benefit changes next year may see some losing out.
Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children's Society, said: "Something is going badly wrong when teachers themselves are having to feed children. When the Universal Credit starts next year it must make free school meals available to all children living in poverty."
A third of the teachers questioned also said they felt the size of the school meal offered was small or inadequate.
The view was echoed by unemployed Kat Dobson whose 11-year-old son eats school lunch.
She told Sky News: "Free school meals are a necessity for people like me who are on benefits and on a budget but the amount they get to eat at school is a joke.
"It's not worth putting down in front of them. It's not enough. It's a joke.
"As soon as my son comes home he's in the fridge saying, 'I'm hungry' but if he wasn't on free school meals he'd be on packed lunches and that would cost £4 a day - which is a hell of a lot of money."
what do you think?
When I grew up we didn't have a fridge. We just used a cool place in the house to store food.
I have seen this myself and it does happen ! Very sad , having worked in a school you would not believe how some children live :-( so sad x
SO Stop giving Hundreds of Millions to other counties Never mined feed the world lets try feeding are own first
Well this comes as a suprise I've read many reports over the past several years of teachers actually taking food away from children, saying that the kids treats are unhealthy I believe that teachers are the willing tools of Marxist inspired social services trying to implimient their own political agenda. Hungry kids are being used as pawns in this fight.There are more permanent ways of caring for their well being than throwing them scraps of food, for instance social services doing the job they were set up do and properly investigate these individual cases...........thats if they really exist.
A packed lunch need not cost that much.
I can't work out why it would cost £4 a day to full a lunch box. My son's defiantly doesn't cost that. I buy his things every Sunday in multi packs, fruit, yoghurts, crisps, crackers etc. for about £5-6 for the next school week.
Welcome to soon to be 3rd world England
Its meant to be governments job to ensure its population have enough food to eat - its not meant to be the job of teachers and charities. The politicians of this country make me sick, stripping benefits from the disabled, enforcing more austerity upon people already living below the poverty level, whilst the ruling elite live in absolute wealth and priviledge, laughing at the poor behind their backs. . . Vile excuses for human beings. . . If ever we needed the Wat Tyler/ John Ball/ Percy Toplis or Robin Hood of this generation to rise up and lead us out of poverty and oppression. . . . Its now!! Poverty levels in this country will soon reach Victorian levels. . And push this country closer to civil war
Sorry rubbish.children from families like that get free meals.i've worked in a school kitchen
if he wasn't on free school meals he'd be on packed lunches and that would cost £4 a day - What a quote. Answer - don't pack a tub of caviar with his 2 smoked salmon sandwiches. Instead - 4 slices of bread with potted meat, or cheese, or sandwich spread - a tub of custard, an apple/orange and a biscuit. - costs very little, so I'm told.
What rubbish £4 a day for a packed lunch!! a roll =20p, slice of cheese = 18p, 2 frubes (yogurts in a easy to eat tube) 44p, 1 apple = 32p, carton of pure orange =15p... Only costs me £1.29 a day. Not allowed crisps, chocolate, sweets & cake so that saves money! It's nice the teachers care but it shouldn't get to that stage. People on benefits get free school meals, its food regardless of how big the portion is. Better than nothing if you are not paying for it.