Growing up, I saw my mum work incredibly hard. But like so many parents today she struggled to make ends meet. The truth is there were days she didn’t eat so I could.
For us Free School Meals were essential. Now as a teacher I refuse to let any child go without the basics they need to learn.
Despite our win last week, there are still 1.7 million children from low income families – some earning as little as £7,400 a year – who are excluded from Free School Meals year-round.
It was us – educators, parents, whole communities – that made the Government step up once. We can do it again.
I tell my children that they can be whoever they want to be. Our future teachers, doctors… the next Marcus Rashford!
But how can they fulfil their potential on an empty stomach?
Right now, there are children from families on Universal Credit, some living on as little as £20.50 a day, who don’t qualify for Free School Meals.
When a child in your class hasn’t eaten, you know it immediately. They’re stressed. They can’t concentrate.
We can’t let that stand.
As a Union, we know the power for change petitions can give to vitally important issues affecting education today.
150,000 of you have already signed our petition on school safety. Let’s raise our voices again for the 1.7 million children missing out.
Last week was a huge relief. The Government’s U-turn means some children I teach won’t go hungry this Christmas holiday.
But our work isn’t over.
The same Free School Meals that helped me learn and thrive in school simply don’t reach so many kids that need them.
I won’t rest until no child is left behind. I hope you’ll join me.
Determined and ready,
Junior Vice President
National Education Union