27/10/20 – Useful Links

Interesting links, articles, news and blog posts sent out to members on 27/10/20.

News: School meals: Row continues as half term begins in England – BBC News Online

26 October 2020.  Ministers are continuing to insist they will not fund free school meals for children at risk of going hungry in England over the half-term holiday.  Many councils are providing meal vouchers, while hundreds of businesses are offering parcels to those in need:


News: Children’s doctors attack Tories over free school meals – Guardian Online

24 October 2020, Michael Savage and Donna Ferguson.  More than 2,000 paediatricians back the drive by footballer Marcus Rashford to ensure children have enough to eat:


News: School meals: Pressure mounts on government to reverse decision – BBC News Online

25 October 2020.  Several Conservative MPs are opposing No 10’s stance, as Labour threatens to push for another Commons vote and some 2,000 doctors call for a U-turn:


Article: Downing Street Has Refused To Praise Businesses Offering Free Food To Children After Marcus Rashford’s Anti-Hunger Campaign – Politics Home

23 October 2020, Alain Tolhurst.  Hundreds of cafes, restaurants and community groups have responded to footballer Marcus Rashford’s anti-hunger campaign after the government ruled out extending the free school meal system into the holidays:


Article: YoungMinds calls for funding to provide wellbeing and mental health support in schools – Willis Palmer

October 2020.  More than 60 per cent of young people with mental health have found their mental health worsening since they have returned to school, according to a survey by YoungMinds:

Article: Children’s services were struggling financially before Covid, warns leading charities – Willis Palmer

October 2020. Local authorities had to spend an additional £136 million on children’s social care between March and July, it has emerged:

News: Support grows for Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign – Guardian Online

23 October 2020, Sally Weale, Patrick Butler and Heather Stewart. Politicians and celebrities of all stripes come out in support of plan rejected by government:


News: Conservative MP quits government job over free school meals – BBC News Online

23 October 2020.  A Tory MP has quit her government job after voting for a Labour motion to offer free school meals during holidays until Easter 2021.  Caroline Ansell said vouchers were not a long-term solution – but they helped families struggling with the pandemic:


News:  Marcus Rashford in ‘despair’ as MPs reject free school meal plan – Guardian Online

21 October 2020, Sally Weale and Richard Adams.   Footballer and campaigner expresses disappointment as plea for free meals to be extended is voted down:


News: Tory MPs attack celebrity free school meal campaigners – BBC News Online

22 October 2020.  Conservative MPs have criticised a campaign for free school meals to be offered over the holidays. Last week England footballer Marcus Rashford launched a petition urging government to make the change. Some Tory MPs criticised the campaign, with Brendan Clarke-Smith calling for less “celebrity virtue signalling on Twitter”:


Research Briefing: House of Commons Library Debate Pack – Opposition Day Debate Free school meals – House of Commons Library

21 October 2020.  The motion, in the name of the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, states:

That this House calls on the Government to continue directly funding provision of free school meals over the school holidays until Easter 2021 to prevent over a million children going hungry during this crisis”:

Article: Now more than ever the government must implement a long-term strategy to combat child hunger – Politics Home

19 October 2020, Robert Halfon, MP.  “The Prime Minister should work with Marcus Rashford on a long-term solution to end child food poverty. Extending free school meals over the school holidays – at least while Covid-19 restrictions remain and job losses continue – would be a welcome first step”:


Report:  A child-centred recovery – Local Government Association

10 September 2020.  This document outlines our ambitions for a child-centred recovery, drawing together every aspect of policy and service delivery to create the places people want to live in and plan for the future:


Blog: PE on the national curriculum – Department for Education

19 October 2020.  There has recently been discussion regarding physical education (PE) in schools. The discussions include former rugby player Jason Robinson calling for PE to be a core part of the school curriculum and saying PE is now more important than ever:

Blog: Questions and answers on free school meals – Department for Education

19 October 2020.  This blog looks at some common questions and answers about Free School Meals (FSM), school meal provision during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what the government is doing to end child poverty and holiday hunger:

News: School meals: Labour backs Marcus Rashford campaign – BBC News Online

17 October 2020.  Labour has given ministers 72 hours to agree to provide free school meals during the holidays, warning that one million children could be left hungry.  Shadow education secretary Kate Green said “now is the time to act”, and Labour warned would force a vote by MPs if the programme is not extended:


News: Gordon Brown backs Marcus Rashford’s school meals plea – BBC News Online

16 October 2020.  Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged Boris Johnson to provide 1.5 million children with free meals during the half-term and Christmas holidays:


News: Marcus Rashford to fight on after new school meals plea rejected – BBC News Online

15 October 2020.  Footballer Marcus Rashford is pledging to continue his campaign to see free school meals given to children during all school holidays in England, after the government rejected the idea:


Research Briefing: Food Banks in the UK – House of Commons Library

14 October 2020.  The primary source of data on food bank use is the Trussell Trust. This national charity provides food parcels to people referred to it by professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and the Citizens Advice who meet certain requirements. Other charities also operate food banks or similar services, and there is increasing data available on them, notably from the Independent Food Aid Network [IFAN]:

Research Briefing: Support for children and families during the Covid-19 outbreak – House of Commons Library

20 October 2020.  On Tuesday 20 October at 9.30 am there will be a debate in Westminster Hall on “Support for children and families during the Covid-19 outbreak”. The debate will be led by Danny Kruger MP, Fiona Bruce MP and Tim Farron MP:

Support for children and families during the Covid-19 outbreak

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