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Rise in holiday hunger revealed by NUT survey

Rise in holiday hunger revealed by NUT survey
18 Apr 2017
The amount of pupils affected by holiday hunger has increased over the last two years and pupils are returning to school with signs of malnourishment, a National Union of Teachers (NUT) survey has revealed.

The survey revealed that 51% of respondents said that pupils at their schools were affected by holiday hunger. 39% of these said it was affecting more than a quarter of pupils in their school, with 12% saying half or more of their pupils experienced holiday hunger.

73% said that their pupils’ education was being negatively affected as a consequence of holiday hunger. Pupils’ social wellbeing and physical health is also being affected, according to respondents.

Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “As this survey demonstrates, teachers are acutely aware of the distressing effects of poverty on the children they teach. When children come to school hungry or malnourished, this has a negative impact on their physical and mental wellbeing and it also impairs their ability to learn by reducing their ability to concentrate.

“The Government needs to take urgent action and adopt a serious poverty reduction strategy, including the implementation of universal free school meals for all primary children and measures to tackle holiday hunger.”

The survey was sent to primary NUT members and there were 619 responses between March 3rd-12th 2017.