The British Medical Association (BMA) has called on the government to make school lunches free for all primary school children in England. The BMA said it would help alleviate health inequalities faced by poorer children, some of whom have been shown to be losing up to two months’ worth of development over their school holidays as a result of malnutrition.
Hunger in school can have negative effects on children’s abilities and attitudes at school.
Famine is a serious problem for a large number of children in the United Kingdom. In fact, it’s estimated that one in five children do not eat enough at school and are therefore hungry during the day. This lack of nutrition can have negative effects on their abilities and attitudes at school.
- Hunger affects concentration and focus — and consequently, the ability to learn.
- It impairs memory and recall — so students who are hungry may have trouble remembering what they learned during the day.
- Hunger has an impact on behavior, as it makes people feel irritable or angry.
- It affects motivation levels: students who aren’t getting enough food will be less motivated to engage in learning activities.
Free school lunches are already available in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Scottish government decided to extend the policy to all children in a bid to tackle child poverty.
In England, British children from households with an annual income of less than about £7,400 ($8,479.70) can get free school meals if they meet certain other criteria (they must be aged four to seven). Schools that provide free school meals are entitled to extra funding from the government which goes towards paying for ingredients such as milk.
In Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, all infants — children aged four to seven — are already entitled to a free lunch at school.
In England, however, only pupils in the reception year (aged four) and year one receive the meals for free. British Children in years two to five receive their lunches at a reduced price of £2 per day — unless their parents pay full price or claim benefits for them.
It was announced that free school meals would be extended to all primary school children in England from 2022 as part of the government’s plan for universal infant free school meals by 2022 (UIFSM), but this has now been put on hold until 2023 with no guarantee of funding beyond 2020/21.
According to a study by the British Child Poverty Action Group, one-fifth of primary school children are living in poverty.
British Children in poverty are more likely to suffer from health problems, mental health issues, and poor educational attainment. Additionally, they are more likely to suffer from behavioral issues such as aggression and hyperactivity.
This is not just an issue for the British — it’s also a problem for Canada where one in three children live below the poverty line; however, unlike their British counterparts, there is no national program providing free lunches for this demographic.
The BMA has called for free school meals to be made available to all children, in order to help alleviate health inequalities faced by poorer children.
The British Medical Association believes that free school meals would help improve the health and well-being of millions of U.K. children. It claims that there is strong evidence showing that child poverty is a major issue in Britain and that poor children are more likely to be overweight or obese than their peers from wealthier backgrounds.
The association also argues that poor children are more likely to suffer from asthma, eczema, and other allergies; these conditions can often be linked to malnutrition or lack of access to nutritious food at home.
Some say free school meals could also impact levels of deprivation as well as educational attainment and behavior of pupils. Takeaway: there are many issues related to school lunches that should be addressed by institutions.
In a recent study, it was found that pupils who received free school meals performed better in English and maths than those who did not. Some say that the provision of free school meals could also impact levels of deprivation as well as the educational attainment and behavior of pupils.
However, there are many issues related to school lunches that should be addressed by institutions. It is important to ensure that the food is nutritious, healthy, and tasty enough for children to enjoy eating it regularly.
It is estimated that more than one million primary children in England would be able to get a free hot lunch if Labour’s policy was implemented. That compares with about 600,000 currently receiving them under the government’s program for pupils from low-income families.
The cost of providing free school meals during holidays is estimated to be £20 million($22,850,700) per week. The government has rejected this figure, claiming instead that it would cost much more than that amount.
In addition to the huge financial cost of providing free school lunches during holidays, there are also other factors that should be considered when considering providing meals for children who aren’t in school during these periods.
It’s important to remember that this is not just about giving out food; rather it’s about helping families who may not have enough money or resources available in order to feed their children during vacations.
The government has refused to provide free school meals during holidays, saying that such demands would cost too much per week. The BMA says this is not a viable solution as it would only solve part of the problem and still leave millions of children without any form of nutritious food during school breaks.
By Daniel Batalla
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