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Time for Lunch: why children in poverty are currently denied free school meals

03 September 2021
For children living in poverty, school should be a place where they can access learning and essential opportunities in the same way as their peers. Free school meals should be available so children can eat during their school day without any worry and parents have one less thing to think about. That way, children can focus on learning, playing and fully participating in their education. Unfortunately, for more than a third of children in poverty in the UK, access to a free daily meal at school is denied.

Back to school – supporting pupils from low-income families in England

01 September 2021
For many pupils, families and school staff, excitement has been building for the start of the new school year. However, for some families experiencing poverty, this can be a time of anxiety. A time of increased costs as uniforms, PE kits, travel cards and stationery are needed. But there are some straightforward steps that schools can take to ensure that all families and children get off to a great start.

“Children and young people are the experts in their school experience”

20 July 2021
This is the third of a series of five blogs about why listening to pupils is key to tackling the cost of the school day. Richard Barrie, who works as a Cost of the School Day Practitioner in Coventry, shares some examples of what pupils have told us about school costs.

“A compelling picture of pupils’ school days through their eyes, their hearts and their minds”

20 July 2021
This is the first of a series of five blogs about why listening to pupils is key to tackling the cost of the school day. Kirsty Severn, one of our Cost of the School Day practitioners in Coventry, tells us about the process we use to draw out pupils’ views, experiences and ideas about the school day.

A drop in the ocean: the need for investment in children at school

03 June 2021
Yesterday, the UK government announced the next phase of its Covid education recovery plan with £1.4 billion to be spent on tutoring pupils and training teachers in England. This falls far short of what’s really needed to ensure that – as the prime minister puts it – “no child is left behind”.

Educational outcomes without secure incomes

17 February 2021
Today, the departing Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, posed an important question in her final speech. She asked how the government can claim to be focused on educational catch-up on the one hand, while at the same time refusing to give families income security and risking more children being pushed into poverty. This is a crucial point. Poverty at home is the strongest statistical predictor of how well a child will do in school.

Don’t Zap the Zip: campaign update

10 August 2020
The government has announced that it is pushing back the ‘temporary’ suspension of free travel for under 18s in London to after the October half term holidays, instead of bringing it in at the start of the academic year in September, as originally planned. Find out what CPAG thinks about this announcement.

Making the links: Poverty, austerity and children’s social care

05 August 2020
What effect have poverty and austerity had on children and families? Earlier this year Child Poverty Action Group, Association of Directors of Children’s Services and researchers from the Child Welfare Inequalities Project surveyed social workers on the frontline, and the report of what they told us – out this week - makes for sobering reading.

A 'proper meal’? Free school meals in Portugal and England

14 March 2019
If we had not included Portuguese young people in our cross national study of Families and Food in Hard Times*, the inadequacies in the free school meal system in England might not have been quite so obvious.