Posts Tagged ‘Health And Wellbeing’

This morning we have heard that the Government is cutting the Free School Meals programme.

From October 2013, if a family earns more than £7,500 a year, they will lose entitlement to Free School Meals for their children.  That’s £7,500 a year – £625 per month – £144.23 per week.

The ability for Local Councils to provide children from poorer families with a Free School Meal has been in place since 1906.  The system of FSM is so entrenched in our Education system that it is even used as one of the statistics in measuring school achievement.

In a survey carried out by Netmums in February this year, it was found that 70% of families are “on the edge of surviving“.  For many children, their lunch at school is their main meal of the day. The same survey showed that 1 in 5 mums are regularly going without food so that their children can eat.

“Every month we are waiting until the next child benefit just so we can buy food.  This week we are going 5 days with only £10 left to our name…..”

In response to the Netmums survey, the Department of Work and Pensions said:

“Our welfare reforms will have a dynamic impact on some of the poorest families and will lift over one million people out of poverty…..”

A woman running a food parcel scheme has said:

“We give out 35 parcels twice a week.  Mostly they go to mothers who are trying to feed families.  Most have children who are school age so at least they get a meal there…”

What can we do?

The Childrens’ Society have produced a Policy Report on the future of free school meals.  You can read it here.

The Childrens’ Society’s “Fair and Square” Campaign aims to ensure that all children in need of a free school meal, receive one.  Please support this campaign, we do.  We passionately believe in the Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People, and surely Free School Meals are one sign of a compassionate society.

Please may we ask you to sign the Fair and Square petition by clicking on the logo


We received a question from a member of Constabulary, which raised a good question that we felt would be relevant to any school in any area of the UK.

Your question to me on Twitter (@schoolcouncils) was “We presently have a project ongoing with our local Comprehensive school to improve community cohesion.  We should link in?”

Very strongly, part of what school councils are about is linking to local and other communities.  They are encouraged to link to youth councils; town, borough and district  councils.  Many school councils organise social visits to old folks homes, especially at this time of year.  I can’t comment on your local schools but emphatically the answer is yes on this score

Another area for school councils is that of Health and Wellbeing.  This includes anti-bullying of the physical or cyber kind.  Wellbeing also reaches into transport and whether the children and young people feel safe coming to school and going home.  Very much your territory.  So emphatically the answer is yes on this score too. 

I am not aware of your local conditions, but it seems to me that  in some areas there is a need for the healing of rifts between between the police as a whole and young people.  If this should apply in your part of the country, I would invite you to think of school councils as  an ideal channel into the school community to enable that healing to take place.  Again, the answer is emphatically yes.

In the round, therefore, there is nothing to be lost and everything to be gained from police services nationally linking to school councils and from there into the wider school community

Good luck!  Let us know how you get on.

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