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NAHT responds to new research showing one in five schools now runs a foodbank

Responding to new research from the University of Bristol, which found that schools are now the biggest source of charitable food and household aid for struggling families, with one in every five schools running a foodbank, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“In recent years we have increasingly heard from school leaders who are going above and beyond to help children, and as well as setting up food banks, some are dipping into their own pockets to help families with food, clothing and learning resources.

"While schools do a great deal to try to mitigate the effects of disadvantage upon their pupils, they are not a replacement for a fully functioning social care system and cannot address the underlying drivers of poverty nor nullify all the impacts it has on children’s lives.

“The government hasn’t done nearly enough to support children’s recovery from the pandemic, tackle the root causes of poverty, or properly invest in social care, family support and mental health services, which have all been under-funded over the last decade.

“Until this changes, we will continue to see worrying levels of poverty and the disadvantage gap will continue to have a pernicious impact upon children’s life chances.”

First published 17 April 2024