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The cost of living crisis is a health crisis for millions of children returning to school this week

students with bags

The cost of living crisis has become a health crisis for children and their families. What does the new government need to do to mitigate the impact on education.

This comes as millions of children from deprived backgrounds will return to school after the summer holidays less able to learn than their peers, thanks to a lack of nutritious food in their diets. This will exacerbate existing health and learning inequalities, particularly as the cost of living continues to rise this winter.

Anna Garrod, Policy and Influencing Director at Impact on Urban Health, said:

“The cost-of-living crisis is a health crisis, especially for children who don’t have access to the nutritious food they need to learn and thrive.  A third of those families living in poverty don’t even qualify for free school meals.

“Yet the Government is turning a blind eye to the solutions that will help families manage. With ever more at risk of being plunged into poverty, the current threshold of £7,400 to qualify for free school meals simply doesn’t cut it. Raising the limit to include all children from families in receipt of Universal Credit will provide vital support to families amidst the cost-of-living crisis. This action will support children’s health, reduce obesity rates, and improve academic performance and attendance. Investing in children’s health today will cost far less than inaction in the long run.”

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