Free School Meals should be provided for pupils who need them over the October Half Term and Christmas Holidays.
That’s the message from Birmingham Labour to the Conservatives in London who have been slow to help the 61,000 children in our city dependent on Free School Meals.
Over 4 in 10 Birmingham children live in poverty, and the proportion of children eligible for free school meals is twice the national average.
Last month Council Leader Ian Ward, Cabinet Member for Children’s Wellbeing Kate Booth and Cabinet Member for Education, Schools and Culture Jayne Francis wrote to Secretary of State for Schools Gavin Williamson expressing their dismay and frustration that no further action has been taken to support pupils over the holidays.
They wrote, “The withdrawal of this vital support at an already challenging time will have devastating consequences for thousands of families in Birmingham and across the country…for far too many (pupils) this is the one meal they have each day”.
Now research from the Food Foundation Thinktank suggests that there has been a surge in families applying for free school meals, with 1 million children signing up to get help for the first time. Most of these families are in the North and Midlands.
Read our letter to the Education Secretary below: