School staff buy food for children who would go hungry without their help, survey reveals

Posted on: 2018-10-01 16:00:00

School staff are buying food and bringing it in to feed pupils who would otherwise go hungry, a survey has revealed.

Almost one in ten teaching assistants and support staff feel they have to spend their own cash on food for pupils who do not get enough to eat at home, according to research by GMB union.  

Children are coming to school without having eaten breakfast – or with no money for food at break times, school staff say. 

It comes after thousands of headteachers marched on Westminster over school funding cuts.

Despite growing anger, Theresa May recently defended her Government’s funding of schools.

The poll, of more than 4,600 school support staff, reveals eight per cent say they felt they have to spend their own money on food for hungry children.

One member of staff said: “School dinners are absolutely tiny, therefore any extra food we have at home is taken into school for the children.”

Another said: “Without the extra things that I buy with my own money, the children would not have the healthy food options.”

In the summer, a survey from GMB found that more than half of school support staff said they were spending their own money on basic essentials for children – including tampons, pens and books.

It revealed that 78 per cent say their school has been forced to make significant financial cutbacks – which has reduced the number of resources on offer.

Karen Leonard, GMB national officer, said: “Hungry children cannot learn effectively. Conservative cuts to education are endangering the future of an entire generation of young people.

“Meanwhile, dedicated staff are left out of pocket because they refuse to allow kids to go hungry.

“It’s a scandal – and only properly funding our schools can give our kids the education they deserve.”

The Department for Education has been approached for comment.

Eleanor Busby, Education Correspondent

Source: Independent

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