Increasing numbers of students are 'coming to school hungry', the findings of a new survey carried out by the UK's largest teaching union has found.
According to the NASUWT more than a quarter of teachers recalled having to step in and provide food for children, and more than half said they had seen their schools do the same, after witnessing pupils reportedly unable to concentrate in school "because they are tired, hungry and anxious".
It comes as teachers warned poverty and homelessness were taking "an enormous physical and emotional toll on children".
The government responded saying it was committed to working to eliminate child poverty and "improving life chances for children" and stated that as part of the Budget £10m of funding a year would be going in to expanding breakfast clubs in up to 1,600 schools by September 2017.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT said the results of the survey showed just how wide ranging the child poverty problem was.
She said: "Children living in poverty are more likely to suffer from low confidence and behavioural issues. Homelessness leads to ill health and absenteeism when the distance and cost of travelling to school from temporary accommodation is prohibitive.
"Teachers and support staff are mending clothes and washing uniforms, providing food and equipment."