Breakfast clubs in schools are increasing in numbers. Since March 2018, 500 new or improved clubs have been signed up to the scheme. The government-funded programme is worth up to £26 million.
Breakfast clubs should be rolled out across the country.
Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families appeared on the BBC this morning. He said that the government, working alongside the charity, Magic Breakfast, is committed to rolling out the programme. He called for any schools in disadvantaged areas who are not on the scheme to get in touch.
The National Schools Breakfast Programme is delivered by Family Action in partnership with Magic Breakfast.
Magic Breakfast is a charity aiming to end hunger as a barrier to education in UK schools through the provision of healthy breakfasts to vulnerable children.
The soft drinks industry levy funds the programme. The government is working with the charities to encourage more schools and organisations to provide breakfast. It is part of a wider drive to help children lead healthier lives and support the country’s most disadvantaged families.
1000s more children getting a healthy and nutritious start to the day.
Mr. Sahawi said that 1000s more children across the country are now getting a healthy and nutritious start to the day.
He said that the numbers, published on Friday, show the positive impact of the breakfast club.
“We want every child to have the best possible start in life, and that means getting the best possible start to their day,” he said in a statement.
The £26million investment, announced in March, for the two charities, is to run new and improve existing breakfast clubs for pupils in more than £1,700 schools by 2020.
Breakfast Clubs already serve 15,000 breakfasts each day.
Family Action report that under this programme, clubs already serve15,000 breakfasts every day to children. Many from disadvantaged families. The menu on offer includes cereals, fruit, toast, porridge, and bagels. The menu varies from school to school.
Family Action also reported that 500 new or improved clubs have signed up to the programme. More than 150 are already up and running in schools.
The focus of the programme is on the most disadvantaged parts of the country. These include the government’s 12 ‘Opportunity Areas.” These areas are receiving a share of £72 million to help raise standards where children face greater challenges.
Research shows that breakfast clubs can boost learning.
In fact, the Education Endowment Foundation’s research shows that breakfast clubs that offer pupils in primary schools a free and nutritious meal before school can boost their reading, writing and maths results.
Also, many clubs go a step further by offering extracurricular activities. Some offer extra reading sessions to improve learning.
What the government says.
Nadhim Zahawi said:
“We want every child to have the best possible start in life. That means getting the best possible start to their day. It’s fantastic to see the positive effect that new breakfast clubs are having right across the country. Particularly in our most disadvantaged areas.”
“We have already made strides in our attempts to help every child reach their potential. With 300,000 fewer children living in absolute poverty in this country and the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils reduced by 10 percent, but we know there is more to do.”
“That’s why I want to encourage schools to take part in this rewarding programme that is already providing a boost in so many of our classrooms.”
“Family Action and Magic Breakfast are already working with the government to help encourage more children to attend the clubs by asking schools to collaborate and share best practice.”
“This includes £2 million for projects to encourage children to eat a healthy breakfast, and improve the way that schools share best practice.”
Today’s announcement builds on Family Action’s extensive range of family and school support services nationwide, and Magic Breakfast’s previous partnership with the Department for Education – establishing breakfast provision in 183 schools from 2014 to 2016.
What Family Action says.
David Holmes, CBE, Chief Executive of Family Action said:
“Family Action is delighted to be leading the delivery of the National School Breakfast Programme in partnership with Magic Breakfast. This is a huge opportunity to make a difference to the lives of tens of thousands of children. The progress of the programme so far has been amazing. We are so impressed with the enthusiasm of schools to take part and their eagerness to engage with our dedicated team.”
“We want to ensure we help as many children as possible start the day with a healthy breakfast and ready to learn, We are encouraging all eligible schools to get in touch with us as soon as possible so you can become part of the programme too.”
What Magic Breakfast says.
Carmel McConnell, MBE, Founder of Magic Breakfast said:
“We are really happy to work alongside Family Action and the DfE to welcome so many fantastic schools to the National School Breakfast Programme. Each school is receiving the tried and tested Magic Breakfast model of support, which we know boosts educational outcomes. We are really keen to reach all eligible schools.”
“Schools tell us that the most important lessons are taught in the morning. So, we are delighted that so many more children who may not have access to food at home can now eat a healthy breakfast at school. [To] give them the energy and focus they need to be able to learn.”
The programme helps support an active and healthy childhood.
The National School Breakfast Programme is part of the government’s drive to support an active and healthy childhood. It builds on the recent doubling of the Primary PE and Sport Premium to £320 million a year. This is to improve PE and sport in schools. This is alongside the £100 million Healthy Pupils Capital Fund. Aimed at improving school facilities that help young people live healthier lifestyles.
Today’s announcement and the investment of up to £26 million in the clubs, builds on the Government’s support for the most disadvantaged families. This includes £2 million invested in summer 2018 to pilot ways to ensure children get continued access to healthy meals and activities during the holidays.