Gavin Williamson faces furious MPs over schools chaos and 'disgusting' food parcels

GAVIN Williamson is facing a grilling by furious MPs over school chaos and scandalous free school meals packages.

The Education Secretary blasted companies who handed out meagre food parcels as "completely unacceptable", saying he was "disgusted" by the provisions given to poor children.

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Mr Williamson is being grilled by the Education Select Committee this morning after frantic parents shared pictures of potatoes and cans of beans, a loaf of bread and a block of cheese or boxes of cold chips after expecting food that could provide their children's lunches for a week.

Those eligible for free school meals are entitled to £30 food vouchers but at the moment many parents across the country are being given food parcels instead from their local authority through suppliers.

The Education Secretary will also face tough questions over the decision to close schools and cancel A-levels and GCSEs, as coronavirus cases spiralled out of control.

Chair of the Education Select Committee Robert Halfon demanded Mr Williamson "name and shame" companies who hand out "parsimonious food parcels".

Yesterday, footballer Marcus Rashford blasted the failure to look after vulnerable children.

Rashford, who has long campaigned to keep kids fed throughout the pandemic through free school meals, said: "One thing that is clear is that there was very little communication with the suppliers that a national lockdown was coming.

"We MUST do better. Children shouldn’t be going hungry on the basis that we aren’t communicating or being transparent with plans. That is unacceptable."

The company responsible for the meagre meal boxes, Chartwells, said it was "keen to investigate" with the relevant schools to address any potential operational issues.

And the Prime Minister's spokesperson said yesterday: "Those images showing those food parcels were completely unacceptable. The DfE is looking into this urgently.

"The minister for children, Vicky Ford, is speaking to the company responsible, they are making it clear boxes like these should not be given to families.

"Schools should work with their eligible teams to provide food parcels."

 

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