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Pupils who rely on free school meals can face hunger in the holidays, a teachers union conference has heard. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers annual conference has voted to lobby for more and better holiday schemes which include meals.

“We risk returning to a Dickensian era rife with inequality,” said ATL general secretary Mary Bousted.
The government said its provision of free school meals for infant pupils had helped boost their learning.

John Puckrin, a teacher from central London, said a recent report from food banks provider, the Trussell Trust, showed a 21% increase in demand during the school holidays.

“For many the school holidays provide a chance to relax and enjoy new experiences, meeting new people, going to places, perhaps different cultures and languages, the chance to grow their ‘cultural capital’ or improve sporting skills.”

“But for the poorest it is often a closed in isolating experience with a lack of any positive stimulation,” Mr Puckrin told the conference.

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source: BBC News
published: 5 April 2016

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