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Children denied Free School Meals because of immigration status.

Children denied Free School Meals because of immigration status.

The government is being urged to review a policy that campaigners say bars children of virtually destitute families from receiving free school meals because of their parents’ immigration status.

Headteachers and campaigners have expressed outrage that pupils who are among the poorest in society are missing out on free school meals because their parents have no access to benefits as a part of a condition known as “no recourse to public funds” (NRPF).

One headteacher, Ian Bennett, of Downshall primary school in Ilford, Essex, has been forced to take money from his education budget to feed 12 children in this predicament in his school and is angry that children are being penalised by “harsh” immigration policies. “It doesn’t feel right to me. They need to be treated compassionately.”

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