£26 million boost to school breakfast clubs

The Department for Education has announced a £26 million investment and the appointment of two leading charities to run morning clubs in schools in disadvantaged areas.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said that the provision will be funded through the government’s soft drinks industry levy and will benefit over 1,770 schools across the country, targeting the department’s Opportunity Areas.

A healthy breakfast has been proven to help boost children’s attainment by improving their memory and concentration. As well as providing a healthy and nutritious meal, the clubs will also offer children the chance to be more active and develop their knowledge and skills through extra-curricular activities to improve their learning.

As part of the funding, the Family Action and Magic Breakfast charities will also look at how they can encourage more children to attend these programmes and improve collaboration and sharing of best practice across schools. Magic Breakfast – which ran the department’s previous breakfast club programme – has supported the provision of breakfasts to over 31,500 children across 550 schools.

Hinds said: “A healthy breakfast can help fuel children’s concentration so they can get the most out of their school day. Children only get one chance at an education and they deserve the best, whatever their background. That is why we are giving more pupils in some of the country’s most disadvantaged areas the chance to go to a breakfast club. Paid for by the government’s soft drinks levy, this investment will help raise education standards further and will make sure young people have happy, healthy childhoods.”