School lunch portions are now so small that many children in England are hungry during afternoon lessons, teachers have warned.
Canteens are cutting costs by reducing portion sizes, the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) heard. Some run out of food before all children have been served.
At the same time, teachers said, the number of children eligible for free school meals was on the increase because of rising unemployment. Pupils are entitled to a free lunch if their parents' joint income is less than £16,000 a year. For many of these children their only daily hot meal is eaten at school.