Government extends breakfast club programme until 2021


The Department for Education (DfE) has earmarked up to £11.8 million to extend its National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP), which aims to improve access to breakfast provision in schools in disadvantaged areas, for another year.

Thousands more children are expected to benefit from the additional funding for breakfast clubs
Thousands more children are expected to benefit from the additional funding for breakfast clubs

Since the programme launched in 2018, the two charities that run it, Family Action and Magic Breakfast, have recruited more than 1,800 schools in disadvantaged areas, serving over 280,000 breakfasts to children every day.

According to the DfE, up to 650 more schools will benefit from the extension of the programme, benefiting thousands more children.

Carmel McConnell, founder of Magic Breakfast, said, ‘A hungry pupil cannot learn, simple as that, so in the spirit of levelling up and unleashing Britain’s potential, it is great news that NSBP funding has been extended. Headteachers tell us that the Magic Breakfast model creates improvements in pupil behaviour, punctuality, attendance and wellbeing as a result of the NSBP.’

The DfE has also announced its pilot of holiday activities and free meals in disadvantaged areas will run again this summer. Costing £9 million, the department will announce the areas that will benefit from the pilot shortly.

The scheme was previously piloted during the 2018 and 2019 summer holidays.

An additional pilot was due to take place last Easter but the plans were scrapped.

Schools minister Lord Agnew said, 'We want every child to lead a healthy, active and happy lifestyle regardless of their background. That’s why we are giving thousands more children in disadvantaged areas the opportunity to attend a breakfast club, which will help boost attendance, behaviour and attainment, helping them to achieve their best in school.

'Where I want children to succeed, I also want them to grow up happy and confident, ready to take on challenges. Investing in enriching, rewarding summer activities next year will help keep them active and encourage them to get involved in their communities.'

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