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Survey by The Guardian shows extreme hunger in UK schools

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Everything about this new survey is disturbing. Reading it takes me back to the early days of nastiness in America, when Reagan and the GOP wanted to declare catsup as a vegetable. The mean spirited "me first" attitude of those early days is nothing compared to what they churn out today, but it raises questions about the direction of things in the UK.

Though not perfect, the UK has generally been a much more tolerant country than the modern US. The extreme hatred that so strongly dominates the US ("religious") right has still been mostly absent in the UK, with a few exceptions.

Is the Tory government now tapping in to existing sentiment or are they promoting American right wing selfishness? It could be some of both, but whichever it is, the direction is not good. There's something fundamentally wrong when school teachers are seeing such extreme problems with hunger in the classroom.

How bad will things be when the full impact of the Tory budget chopping hits the country?

Four out of five teachers (83%) see pupils who are hungry in the morning and 55% said up to a quarter of pupils arrive having not eaten enough. More than half say the number of children involved has been rising in the past year or two, which have seen some families hit hard by the recession, unemployment and benefit cuts.

In the survey of 591 teachers across Britain who belong to the online Guardian Teacher Network, 49% said they have taken food or fruit into school to give to children who have not had breakfast. Almost one in five (17%) have given such pupils money out of their own pockets to buy lunch.

Almost four in five (78%) said they wanted children from low-income families to get a free breakfast on arrival at school, just as some already receive a free lunch.

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