17 August 2020

Calls to extend free school meals to children from migrant families

Calls to extend free school meals to children from migrant families image

Pupils from low-income migrant families should receive free school meals to prevent thousands of children from going hungry, 60 organisations have said.

The Government temporarily extended the free school meals to children in some families affected by the no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition. However, the 60 organisations are concerned thousands of children will lose out when this help is withdrawn.

Research by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford shows that more than 175,000 non-EEA citizens under age 18 lived in families affected by the NRPF condition.

Sam Royston, director of policy and research for The Children’s Society, said: 'It is unacceptable that thousands of children, whose lives have already been turned upside down by the pandemic, could lose out on free school meals.

'Adjusting to being back at school will already be a tremendous challenge for most, but whether a child is able to eat should not depend on their parents’ immigration status. The latest figures show that the number of children affected by the NRPF condition is increasing, meaning many more are now at risk.'

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