The Labour leader said providing every child with a healthy breakfast before school would also give them more time to play with their friends and extra time for teachers to provide targeted catch-up support. But critics demanded to know where the extra cash needed to fund such a scheme would come from.
One said: “Who’s going to pay for that then? Shall we deduct it from the child benefit?
“Keir won’t be happy until we pay for full board and lodging for the little dears on top of every other benefit.”
Another said: “Where will this end, Keir Starmer?
“With parents being given coffee/tea and doughnuts at the school gates?
“If you cannot care enough to give the children breakfast before they go to school, why did you even have children in the first place?”
Another said: “Yep, school uniforms, free laptops, free skipping ropes… the list goes on.”
Another said: “Or they could just get it at home like they have for hundreds of years.”
And another said: “Why don’t we just give them full board and lodging?
“Ridiculous Labour yet again.”
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Earlier, Sir Keir and shadow education secretary Kate Green launched a “Bright Future Taskforce” during a visit to a school in Dagenham, east London.
Labour said the taskforce would deliver a long-term strategy for children’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Marking the day that schools reopened fully in England, Sir Keir’s party said its analysis of Government data indicated that children have each lost an average of 109 face-to-face school days since the first lockdown in March 2020 and that breakfast clubs would help make up for this lost time.
Frontbencher Ms Green said: “The Government’s catch-up plans fall woefully short of the support needed to help children recover from the pandemic, condemning the life chances of a generation of young people.
“Ministers should listen to Labour’s call for breakfast clubs to give every child a healthy breakfast, more time to play with their friends and extra time for teachers to provide targeted catch-up support.
“The Government must be more ambitious for children’s recovery.”