IT’S A sobering thought that there are youngsters living in this region who will not sit down with their family for a Christmas meal and will have to fend for themselves.
All the more credit to Leeds headteacher Nathan Atkinson for deciding to keep Richmond Hill Primary School open over the festive period so pupils can take advantage if a pioneering pay-as-you-feel market stall stocked with supermarket food past its sell-by date.
After identifying a clear link between nutrition and attainment, hence why breakfast is now the first lesson of the day at the school, he is fearful that the academic progress of pupils will suffer because they will not be eating regular, and healthy, meals between now and the start of the new term.
With 70 per cent of Richmond Hill youngsters eligible to free school meals, it’s indicative of levels of poverty in Leeds – hardship masked by the resurgent city’s economic prosperity – and the extent to which teachers do go the extra mile for their students. As such, Mr Atkinson’s compassionate and pragmatic example should be applauded by all.