A HEREFORD school has been praised by Ofsted for giving pupils who are struggling financially more food.

The cost of living crisis is continuing to affect families across the UK, but Whitecross Hereford's kitchen staff were singled our for praise.

Revisiting the school, in Three Elms Road, to check if it was making adequate progress after being rated inadequate last year, inspector Bianka Zemke said the school still had serious weaknesses but was addressing safeguarding concerns.


It said that leaders had made progress to improve the school, but more work was necessary for the category of concern to be removed.

Ms Zemke said staff regularly used the positive relationships they have with pupils to ensure they were cared for and nurtured.

For example, staff in the kitchen give extra food to pupils who they know face financial difficulties, she said.


The letter to headteacher Tim Knapp, dated January 25, said: "Staff know what procedures to follow if they are worried about a pupil.

The safeguarding team effectively records and investigates every concern they are alerted to. Leaders work well with external agencies to ensure that children and families receive the support they need. Staff know the pupils and families well."

But it comes just weeks after Hereford Academy, in Marlbrook Road, said it had seen a rise in children not having money to pay for food at school, but it "simply cannot afford to allow students to have food without paying for it".

In a letter to parents, the school said it would not be giving pupils free food and children could "feel embarrassed".

Want to stay up to date with all the latest news for Herefordshire? It's easy, just sign up for our free daily afternoon news briefing here and the day's top stories will be delivered straight to your inbox.

Sabine Goodwin, coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, which comprises independent food banks across the UK, said in December that people were becoming "more and more desperate" as the cost-of-living crisis exacerbated pre-existing poverty in Britain.

"People are being faced with impossible choices as food insecurity spirals out of control," she said.

"The solution is for the Government to ensure there are direct one-off payments through this winter as well as the adequacy of social security payments and wages."