Hunger causing problems in the classroom, new research reveals

One of the two new classrooms at Ribbon Academy, Murton
One of the two new classrooms at Ribbon Academy, Murton

More than forty per cent of teachers in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire have brought food into school for children who haven’t eaten anything in the morning, according to a new study.

The poll of 765 teachers showed that more than eight out of ten (82 per cent) East Midlands-based teachers see children coming into school hungry at least once a week, while 49 per cent said they see children going hungry every day.

According to a fifth of teachers (19 per cent), the number of children coming to school hungry has increased compared to this time last year, while none reported a decrease.

Those who said the problem was getting worse said that families were still struggling financially, while 38 per cent said parents were too busy to give their kids breakfast.

A third of teachers (39 per cent) said they’d had a child in their class fall asleep, blaming it on hunger or thirst. Some 82 per cent said a hungry child is unable to concentrate,

A total of 50 per cent claimed they were more disruptive, and 34 per cent said hunger causes a child to cry in distress, accorsing to the research commissioned by food giant Kellogg’s.

Jill Rutter, head of policy and research at the Family and Childcare Trust, said: “Missing breakfast has a huge impact on children’s ability to concentrate, learn and behave, which affects their results and long-term outcomes.”