Nearly one million children in areas under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions are set to lose access to free school meals over the holidays unless the government changes course, the Labour Party has highlighted.
According to new analysis by the House of Commons Library for the opposition party, around 900,000 children who claim free school meals live in areas – such as London, Liverpool and Manchester – under tougher restrictions.
Pupils in Tier 2 and 3 alert level regions who use the free school meals programme make up 61% of the over 1.4 million children across the country at risk of losing their free meals over the school holidays.
Labour’s intervention comes ahead of a House of Commons vote on Wednesday that will likely see Tory MPs vote against ensuring pupils have access to meals during every holiday between now and Easter 2021.
Deputy leader Angela Rayner is set to lead the debate for Labour on the opposition motion. She said: “This vote is about our values as a country and whether the government, in the middle of this crisis, is happy to let our children go hungry.