Commenting on the latest statistics from the End Child Poverty coalition showing 1 in 4 children are now living in poverty, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"These are appalling figures, behind which are real lives and real suffering. This is the harsh truth of life in the UK today, with far, far too many children living in poverty and parents unable to make ends meet.
"Teachers are witness every day to the effects of child poverty on wellbeing and learning. Children arrive at school hungry, unable to concentrate. Their school meal is perhaps their only meal in the day. When surveyed, 87% of our members told us that they regularly witness tired or fatigued children.
"Child poverty is set to worsen during the cost-of-living crisis. Yet much of what has already got us to this point is a consequence of government policy, and it is incumbent upon the prime minister to prevent the further growth of child poverty by taking immediate action to extend the provision of Free School Meals (FSM) to all children growing up in families on Universal Credit, as well as removing the benefit cap and disgraceful 2 child limit. Poverty is a political choice and this government must act now to eradicate it."