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Head teachers’ union backs ‘holiday hunger’ bill urging council to provide free meals during the school holidays

School dinners

The National Association for Head Teachers’ has backed a private members bill that would mean councils would be responsible for providing free meals and activities for children during the school holidays.

The bill had it’s second reading in the House of Commons today and the government declined to back Labour MP’s Frank Field’s bill, but has promised to take action to help poorer pupils.  

Speaking in Parliament today, the new education minister Nadhim Zahawi said new research would explore how best to help disadvantaged children during the school holidays. The Department for Education said details of the pilot programme would be confirmed later this year.

Mr Zahawi said: ‘We want every child to reach their potential and healthy meals can contribute to their development and improved attainment. Understanding children’s current access to health meals and enriching activity is the most effective ways of promoting it, and the costs associated is crucial.’

On Twitter, MP Frank Field said: ‘Today marks the first move in over 100 years by a government specifically committing itself to a programme of work to eliminate child hunger in school holidays. Much more work to be done through pilot schemes and research, but a major step has been taken to end holiday hunger.’

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