A new study has revealed that nearly a third of teachers across the UK are feeding hungry students in their classes.
According to the survey, children are turning up for school too hungry to learn and teachers are bringing in food for desperate pupils.
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Trade unionists have blamed the hunger crisis on Tory austerity measures.
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The Mirror reports: Nearly one in three has resorted to feeding children in class – and some staff even give kids cash to buy food.
A third of teachers said children are falling asleep in class due to hunger, with many blaming financial hardship for youngsters missing out on breakfast.
Some 82% said a hungry child is unable to concentrate, 50% claimed they were more disruptive, and 34% said hunger causes a child to cry in distress.
The YouGov poll of 765 teachers in England and Wales, for Kellogg’s, says 78% see children coming into school hungry at least once a week, while 36% say it happens every day. And 20% say the problem is worse than last year.
NASUWT teachers’ union chief Chris Keates, said: “Children’s lives are being blighted by poverty and the increasing financial pressures on families.
“Poverty takes a physical and emotional toll on children. Children living in poverty often suffer more ill-health and absenteeism from school and cannot concentrate when they are hungry.
“Teachers and other public service workers are struggling to pick up the pieces caused by this Government’s economic and social policies.
“The Government has a responsibility to tackle, not generate, poverty and homelessness.”
The 293,000-member NASUWT also fears the increasing cost of school meals is causing further grief for parents.
A recent survey by the union found 51% of parents are now paying between £2 and £4, compared to 2013, when the average cost per pupil for meals was between £1 and £3.
Teachers in Scotland have also claimed that crippling government austerity measures were forcing schoolchildren to go hungry, steal food from their peers and develop mental health issues
A recent Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) survey found there had been a 51 percent rise in the number of children going to school hungry.