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Children’s Minister Visits National School Breakfast Programme

07 November 2018

One of our National School Breakfast schools had a very special visitor recently!
Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi, stopped by at St Mary’s RC Primary School, in Wandsworth, for a hearty breakfast with some very enthusiastic children.

The minister also got the chance to see some of the school’s innovations designed to further boost children’s learning – including iPad Mathletics – which allows children to complete maths challenges for weekly certificates – and special PE sessions.
Speaking at the visit he said: “Having a nutritious breakfast is something that allows children to learn more and in a better way.

“All the evidence from the Education Endowment Foundation suggests that if a child has a nutritious breakfast their ability to learn – whether that’s English, mathematics, reading or writing – is enhanced.
“That’s why it’s so important.”

Staff and children at the school were enthusiastic about the chance to show off their beloved club for the minister, with Associate Headteacher Claire Mitchell claiming she was “extremely happy” to take part in the Programme and noting that the Programme has a range of benefits for her school.
She said: “There are so many benefits to the programme but one of the main benefits for us has been the fact that our attendance and punctuality has significantly  improved, and if they’re here at school they’re learning, so it’s an absolute win for us.

“We all know as adults how we feel when we’re hungry and the children are the same – they just lack that drive and energy that they need to have to be able to make good progress. “The difference when they’re full and they’re happy is that they’re ready to learn. They’re just more alert”.

“When they’re full and they’re happy they’re ready to learn. They’re just more alert”

The National School Breakfast Programme works with schools in disadvantaged communities across the country to improve access to healthy breakfasts.
Eligible schools receive:

  • A start up grant of up to £500 for essential resources (such as fridges, toasters or freezers) to start or expand breakfast and make best use of the food on offer
  • Free food delivered to the door for up to four terms (weekly or fortnightly), comprising healthy cereal, porridge and bagels, to ensure all children at risk of hunger can access a nutritious meal at the start of the school day
  • Expert support from a dedicated member of National School Breakfast Programme staff; advice and resources
  • The opportunity to benefit from local best practice events

Mr Zahawi’s visit comes hot on the heels of the announcement last Wednesday that the Programme recruited its 500th school to the Programme and serves a mammoth 15,000 breakfasts each day. But, we want to do more and help more, as there is still work to be done! Therefore, if you know of a school that might benefit from the Programme please reach out to them and get them to get in touch. Just ensure they complete a short expression of interest form found on our website here or drop our team an email at nsbp@family-action.org.uk. Let’s start change!