Work and Pensions Committee

School holiday poverty inquiry

Inquiry status: open

The Work and Pensions Committee and the Education Committee are together holding a one-off evidence session on school holiday poverty on Wednesday 3 July 2019.

Scope of the inquiry

Both Committees are aware that school holidays can place additional burdens on families. Low-income parents are at particular risk of experiencing financial difficulties during the holidays, because of extra childcare costs and the absence of free school meals for their children.
Save the Children and other organisations have raised concerns about the impact that school holidays can have on families on a low income. The APPG on Hunger's Hungry Holidays 2017 report cited research estimating that the loss of free school meals adds between £30 and £40 per week to parents' outgoings during school holidays. The report also estimated that up to 3 million children are at risk of going hungry in the school holidays—1 million children who receive free school meals during term time, and another 2 million children who are ineligible for free school meals but are growing up in households in in-work poverty.
Childcare provision and costs can also be a problem for families during school holidays, so the Committees will also look at how well the Government's 30 hours free childcare offer for 3 and 4 year-olds is working for parents in practice.

The Work and Pensions Committee's recent work on Universal Credit and childcare revealed the difficulties that parents on Universal Credit face with childcare costs, which may be exacerbated during the school holidays.

Latest evidence

  • 03 Jul 2019 - Work and Pensions Committee - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF332 KB) HC 2459 | Published 05 Jul 2019

    Evidence given by Karen Rotheram, Parent, Dawn Taplin, Parent, Nichola Salvato, Parent, Anne Newbould, ParentMartha Mackenzie, Director of UK Poverty Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children, Abby Jitendra, Policy and Research Manager,The Trussell Trust, Megan Jarvie, Head of Coram Family and Childcare, Ema Wilkes, Director, Neo Community, Sophie Howes, Senior Policy and Research Officer, Child Poverty Action Group

    Watch this evidence session

Next meeting(s)

There are currently no public meetings scheduled.


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