Primary and Secondary School Children Feel They Are Not Being Given the Energy They Need for an Average School Day.

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By Simran Randhawa
Herschel Grammar School News reporter

Primary and Secondary school children feel they are not being given the energy they need for an average school day.

Children are going hungry in schools because they are not being given enough food to eat at lunchtime, a survey shows. Along with children, teachers and parents were concerned about the size of portions, quality and choice of dinners available.

A poll of 503 teachers claimed many schools are charging more for meals, some rising by £100 a year.

School food is subject to severe nutritional guidelines.

The survey results suggested a rise in the number of children on free school meals, which are offered to those from families on benefit, with a third of teachers surveyed saying they had seen a rise in the past five years. Most of them blamed the economy and the increasing rate of unemployment.

Most people agree when it is said that at a time when more children were eligible for free school meals because of rising poverty, it was even more important that school meals were of good quality and size.

However, teachers and parents are raising issues about the quantity of the food that children get, about the choice and the quality. Some teachers are saying that children don't get enough food.

"I think it's absolutely the case that children are going hungry and we all know what hunger does to young people's ability to learn" says Mrs Sharma, a parent governor of Herschel Grammar School.

But about one in ten respondents of the poll said pupils on free school meals did not actually eat school food, with 44% saying their children did not like them and 41% saying their children preferred to bring their own.

On quality, one primary school teacher said: "There are times that meals are good but others when they are most unappetising. There have been many occasions where the portion sizes are very small and there have been a countless amount of times when portions have run out."...
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