Bold action needed beyond the school gates to loosen the grip of child poverty

Responding to the launch of Citizens UK’s ‘Just Change’ campaign, Chris Goulden, Deputy Director of Evidence and Impact at the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:

“This campaign reminds us of the firm grip poverty can have on our children's lives. Students are going hungry in school because they are losing out on money allocated to them in the Free School Meals programme. They face a double injustice: not only are they being treated differently to other students, but their ability to learn is restricted because they are going hungry. This cannot be right.

“Free School Meals provide an essential lifeline to students who might not otherwise be able to afford a decent, hot meal. If we are to protect children from harm we need to work together with schools, meal providers and local authorities to right this wrong - there is a quick fix as this campaign highlights.

“However, more and more families are trapped in poverty because of low pay, the rising cost of living and an ineffective social security system. The Government now has a responsibility to take bold action, beyond the school gates, to loosen the grip of poverty.“