PANDEMIC SEES AN ADDITIONAL 359 ISLAND CHILDREN NOW ELIGIBLE FOR FREE SCHOOL MEALS

The number of Isle of Wight schoolchildren eligible for free school meals has increased by 2.2% during the COVID pandemic, latest figures reveal.

School Census Data shows that a total of 3,301 pupils across the Island can now claim free lunchtime meals – an increase of 359, or 2.2%.

19.6% of all local students are now eligible for free school meals – that’s almost 1 in 5, up from more than 1 in 7 just 5 years ago.

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Nationally, over 300,000 additional pupils are now eligible for free meals. In the South East, the number of eligible pupils has jumped from 12.9% to 15.1%.

Peter Shreeve, Assistant District Secretary of the National Education Union, has said:

“Hundreds, if not a thousand more Island pupils from families on low incomes are slipping through the cracks and are not provided with this much-needed support. No child should come to school too hungry to learn.

“Government must act urgently to implement the recommendations of the National Food Strategy and expand FSM eligibility to all children and young people growing up in families in receipt of Universal Credit.

“Tulip Siddiq MP, Labour’s Shadow Children and Early Years Minister, has pointed out that Government is offering food on just 16 of 30 weekdays this coming summer holiday. Hence the need of rolling out FSM provision to cover the remaining 14 days of the school summer holiday.”

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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isle of wighter
isle of wighter
1 month ago

No child should come to school too hungry to learn.

Perhaps if the parents spent the child benefit on kids food instead of booze, baccy and mobile phones, then they wouldn’t be hungry.

these leeches make any excuse to sponge.

MC hammer
MC hammer
1 month ago

All school children should be given free school meals,end of ! What about our CX tax bla bla bla ? Our country is more than rich enough to do such a minor small jesture for the benefit of the next generation, after all,it will be them changing the nappies of all the lazy baby boomers! Moan moan moan !

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  MC hammer
1 month ago

if you want to pay for other peoples kids through higher taxes mc hammer, you crack on, however, they are not my kids, they are not societies kids and as we did not bring them into the world, they are not our responsibility or societies.

parents can pay for their own kids food – end of

fred
fred
1 month ago

Schools should be open longer to give more support. Also allow people who want to work at a full time job to do so. I know two people who are desperate to return to full time employment but are stuck working 20 hours a week at a job they hate because of being a single parent. If schools were open 7am to 7pm with specialist staff to give support and are able to spot signs of neglect and abuse then the next generation will be in much better shape. Time to stop sending our tax money over seas or giving it to big business and spend it on the people!

My Goodness
My Goodness
Reply to  fred
1 month ago

Contraception is free, but of course NOT having a child dosen’t give you are free home, free c.tax and an income for 18 years.

MC hammer
MC hammer
Reply to  My Goodness
1 month ago

Well, it is what it is, or if you have rich parents,money handed down from previous generations you don’t have to worry and your best friend is called tarkwin etc,set up for life. But you can’t blame average folk for doing what they are doing, just to get by and survive, good luck to them! X

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