100,000 children in poverty in north west England are going hungry in classes ... trends now

100,000 children in poverty in north west England are going hungry in classes ... trends now
100,000 children in poverty in north west England are going hungry in classes ... trends now

100,000 children in poverty in north west England are going hungry in classes ... trends now

Around 100,000 children living in poverty in north west England are going hungry at school as they are ineligible for free school meals, a report has claimed. 

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Greater Manchester Poverty Action (GMPA) have called on the government to provide free schools for all children and young people in full-time education up to the age of 18 in England.

Currently, free school meals are available to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. 

However, pupils in Year Three (age seven to eight) and above are only eligible for the scheme if their household is on universal credit and has an income of below £7,400 per year, before benefits and after tax, to qualify.

This threshold has not changed since 2018, despite the rising cost in supermarkets due to inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

Parents and carers who receive certain benefits, such as Income Support and Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, are also eligible for the scheme.

Pupils in year three (age seven to eight) and above are only eligible for the scheme if their household is on universal credit and has an income of below £7,400 per year, before benefits and after tax, to qualify for FSM (stock image)

Pupils in year three (age seven to eight) and above are only eligible for the scheme if their household is on universal credit and has an income of below £7,400 per year, before benefits and after tax, to qualify for FSM (stock image)

Around 100,000 children living in poverty in north west England are going hungry (stock image)

The tight guidelines mean that one in four children across the north west of the country cannot claim free hot meals.

In Lancashire alone, 15,000 children living on the breadline do not qualify for any form of free school meals, along with 10,500 other students in Manchester. 

The GMPA included a case study of a couple who have one daughter and both work full-time, earning over the threshold. 

The charity stated that if they were to have free school meals, they'd have an extra £60 in their budget for the month. 

When asked what difference this additional money would make to the family, the mother responded 'it's ridiculous how much difference that would make', and said that receiving FSM would be an 'amazing help'. 

Free School Meals - who is entitled? 

FSM are available to either pupils or parents and carers receiving:

Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessmentperiods) Income Support Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance Income-related Employment and Support Allowance Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 The guarantee element of Pension Credit Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax

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