Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said: “The announcement by the government of additional money to support hard-up families with food and heating bills through to March next year will come as a welcome relief to many.
“A firm commitment that no child will go hungry simply because they are not in school is to be welcomed. What is crucial now is that the additional funding gets through to the children that need it most.
“The expansion of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme to provide activities across all local authorities during the main holidays is a very positive move. There’s a lot of evidence to show that more disadvantaged children miss out on activities over the holiday periods. However, we should avoid confusing the solution to one problem as the answer to another.
“Whilst we would strongly encourage all eligible children to take part in activities during holiday periods, we would question whether provision of food to those going hungry should be dependent upon them attending an activity, which for a whole host of reasons might not be suitable, available or accessible for particular groups.
“It is very welcome that the government are investing more money in holiday activities, but this alone falls short in addressing fully the issue of holiday hunger.”
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First published 07 November 2020