We are delighted to say that the National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP) has reached the recruitment target of 1,775 schools set by the Department for Education. This means that by the beginning of the Summer Term over 250,000 more schoolchildren will be starting lessons with a healthy breakfast inside them, settled and ready to learn.
The news comes exactly a year after it was announced that Family Action and Magic Breakfast had won the DfE’s contract to set up or improve breakfast provision in schools in disadvantaged areas of England where pupils were arriving too hungry to learn.
A healthy breakfast can provide children with the energy and nutrients they need to thrive; increasing alertness and improving behaviour.
Research funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that Y2 pupils in schools providing a free, nutritious breakfast boosted their reading, writing and maths by an average of 2 months’ progress per year, compared to pupils in schools with no such breakfast provision.
One school benefitting from the programme is Arlies Primary School in Stalybridge where staff say they’re honoured to have been chosen to work with the NSBP.
School Business Manager Kathryn Almond said: “It’s been amazing for us and it’s changed the culture at the school. Parents and staff are more engaged and the children are so much happier… we can’t thank the National School Breakfast Programme enough.”
More than 1,400 schools are already receiving deliveries of healthy breakfast food from the NSBP, having been offered start-up grants to buy essential equipment such as toasters and freezers, and receiving expert support and guidance on how to reach all children at risk of hunger at the start of the school day.
We at the NSBP have been excited to see how enthusiastic schools have been about launching their NSBP breakfast provision and experiencing the positive impact brought about by having classrooms of children with full stomachs and focused minds.
“The significance of this achievement can’t be overstated – the NSBP is now reaching hundreds of thousands of children every school day.”
Family Action’s CEO David Holmes CBE said: “The significance of this achievement can’t be overstated – the NSBP is now reaching hundreds of thousands of children every school day. Everyone involved with the NSBP – whether that’s our dedicated staff or the wonderful schools we work with or the DfE who commissioned the programme – should be proud that they are changing children’s lives for the better and improving their life chances thanks to their involvement with this programme.”
Magic Breakfast founder Carmel McConnell MBE said: “Partnering with so many schools in such a short space of time has demonstrated that the Magic Breakfast model, tried and tested over a decade, can be successfully, quickly and effectively scaled up. We are hearing from schools how, as a result of now having access to a healthy breakfast, children are realising that hunger had been affecting their mornings, but that thanks to the NSBP they are now much happier and able to focus during the first crucial lessons of the day.”
In total, over 3,100 schools expressed an interest in receiving support from the National School Breakfast Programme since its launch one year ago. The programme is now full, but any schools in England where pupil hunger creates a barrier to learning can still register an interest with the NSBP, or with Magic Breakfast, should further funding become available in the near future.