Commenting on remarks made today by the Prime Minister, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general Sscretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“This Government has rightly been dragged across the coals over its callous decision to oppose last week’s motion calling for free school meals to be funded this half term and beyond. It does not ring true, as some have suggested, that the Government failed to read the national mood. It is sadly well within its character that letters have gone unanswered and warnings unheeded. It is simply the case that we have a Government with no sense of social responsibility and an attitude to the disadvantaged which is positively Dickensian.

“All we hear from the Prime Minister are vague expressions of sympathy. But warm words do not put food on the table. And the public is not fooled. The campaign for free school meals will not rest until words are turned into deeds, and a proper emergency funding programme is brought about to ensure every child who needs support can receive it. 

“Too many children are going without today, tomorrow and for the rest of half term – and their numbers have increased significantly thanks to Covid. These are not normal circumstances, and it is highly disingenuous and dangerous of Conservative MPs to persist with the argument that they are.”