50% of teachers say kids suffer from malnutrition

INCREASING NUMBERS of pupils are coming into school “hungry”, “dirty” and “struggling to concentrate” since the recession.


Almost half the teachers quizzed in a survey by youth charity The Prince’s Trust and the Times Educational Supplement regularly witness pupils coming into school suffering from malnutrition or showing signs that they haven’t eaten enough. One in four of these see this more frequently since the recession, with some teachers admitting that they often buy food for struggling pupils from their own wages.


One teacher told the researchers: “While on lunch duty I often see scavenger pupils finishing off mates’ scraps as they haven’t eaten enough.” Others said that free school meals were often the only food that some students were given to eat.


The findings, based on interviews with 515 secondary school teachers, closely follow the announcement that the UK had fallen back into recession.


Earlier this month, ATL teachers’ union leader, Mary Bousted, said there was concern among teachers about the size of portions, quality and choice of dinners available in school meals. Bousted said at a time when more children were eligible for free school meals because of rising poverty, it was even more important that school meals were of good quality and size.


Jamie Oliver also launched an attack on the Government for “doing nothing” to tackle the obesity crisis among kids.