Claims teachers are relying on food banks ‘not credible’

Reports of teachers having to rely on food banks because they are not paid enough are “not credible”, the Education Secretary has said, as the nation faces its biggest day of strike action in more than a decade.

Hundreds of thousands of workers, including teachers across England and Wales, have walked out today in long-running disputes over pay and conditions.

There have been claims of teachers using food banks because they are not paid enough but Gillian Keegan said she did not believe that teachers would be “using them every day or every week, week in, week out”.

She told Times Radio: “I go to my food banks a lot because I am actually very interested in why people do go to food banks and usually they are there, everyone is different, but they are there in an emergency situation.

“I think the Trussell Trust say on average I think people need to use two food bank vouchers to get themselves out of a crisis every year so that’s kind of what happens and they are there for an emergency and anyone can find themselves in an emergency or a crisis.

“But I think it is not credible that people are using them every day or every week, week in, week out. The Trussell Trust itself says that only sort of 15 per cent of people need more than three food vouchers a year and they are normally people who then get flagged and then the whole system looks at what extra support they need.”

Teachers who are members of the National Education Union have embarked on their first day of strike action today in a move which threatens to disrupt more than 23,000 schools. University lecturers, train drivers, civil servants and bus drivers are also on strike today.

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