No-Deal Brexit School Report Says School Meals at Risk
August 12, 2019
The reality of a no-deal Brexit comes closer and closer each day. Whether your happy with that or not is up to you. A no-deal Brexit school report leaked from the Government has shown how it would be a big issue for schools.
No-deal Brexit school food shortages
The no-deal Brexit school report has been drawn up by Lord Agnew, parliamentary under-secretary for schools, for the new Prime Minister. It’s a five-page document labelled as containing ‘Official Sensitive’ information.
Outlined within are the potential issues that a no-deal Brexit scenario could cause for schools. The biggest issues could come in the form of school food and particularly the provision of Free School Meals (FSM). The document says:
“Warehousing and stockpiling capacity will be more limited in the pre-Xmas period. The department has limited levers to address these risks. We are heavily dependent on the actions of major suppliers and other government departments to ensure continued provision.”
At worst, it’s believed that food prices could go up by as much as 20 per cent. This could result in an extra £84 million needed by schools to maintain their basic school food provisions.
The document was labelled sensitive partly because it is believed this information being public would only exacerbate the problem.
Potentially disruption to travel, especially down in Kent was also a concern raised in the report. The disruption to food and travel could lead to school closures and exam disruption according to the report.
Could the government afford a no-deal Brexit scenario for schools?
If a no-deal comes to pass in October and the concerns of this Brexit school report come to pass, would Britain be able to cope? It’s been reported that the Government has set aside £2.1 billion of funding for no-deal preparations. The Prime Minister is adamant he wants to leave the EU with a deal in place. Though it seems he is just as adamant we will leave in October one way or another.
Putting FSM in danger is just one more reason why that situation would not be preferable. The positive impact FSM can have on some of the children and families who most need it is massive. Without, family budgets are even more stretched, and children spend the school day hungry, unable to concentrate in their lessons.
FSM gives students a basic starting point and fighting chance to do well. The risk no-deal Brexit poses to FSM is another reason in a long list that suggest it should be avoided.