Primary headteacher offers parents of pupils on free school meals £15 to feed their children over half-term after MPs voted against extending scheme during holidays

  • Marianne Allan, who runs Cambois Primary, said it is ‘morally correct’ thing to do
  • Head of school in Northumberland added local community was very supportive
  • Meanwhile, a store owner in Durham said she will make lunch packs for parents

A primary headteacher has offered parents of pupils on free school meals £15 to feed their children over the half-term after MPs voted against extending the scheme during the holidays. 

Marianne Allan, who runs Cambois Primary School in Northumberland, said she was stepping in after MPs voted against extending free meals over the holidays, despite the campaign from England hero Marcus Rashford.

The school has 88 pupils, more than half of whom are eligible for free school meals, and will be using money raised in donations for the foodbank that it also runs.

Marianne Allan, who runs Cambois Primary School in Northumberland, said she was stepping in after MPs voted against extending free meals over the holidays (file photo)

Mrs Allan said: ‘It is morally correct and it is the responsible thing to do. I was quite shocked how anybody could vote against feeding children.

‘We have a significant number of children who will be directly affected by this decision.’

She said parents were doing their best to provide for their children, but she was aware of some who had lost their job and had to wait six weeks for their universal credit to start.

Mrs Allan added that the local community and businesses were greatly supportive and that bakery giant Greggs helped the school run a breakfast club.

‘We have a trolley in each classroom and teachers make toast for the children,’ she said.

‘On Fridays they have a treat like a croissant, we give them fresh orange and fruit.

The school posted on Twitter that it will be sending each family £15 for every child that is entitled to free school meals, following the government’s announcement 

‘Teachers are making them breakfast every single day and we are funded by Greggs to do that.’

Meanwhile, a convenience store owner in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, said she will put together lunch packs for parents of hungry children next week.

Yvonne Taylor, who runs the Ropery Lane Mini Mart, said: ‘So many people have lost their jobs, I have been inundated with people asking if I have any vacancies, so this seems like the least I can do.

‘It’s devastating and it has been an awful year for a lot of people.’

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