Launched in July 2021, the new National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP) is funded by the Department for Education and delivered by Family Action. When the programme is at full capacity, it will be supporting approximately 2500 schools in England to provide hundreds of thousands of children with a healthy breakfast at the start of the school day.
We know that a healthy breakfast is pivotal in setting up children to succeed at school and that it gives them the very best chance to learn.
Despite all the challenges schools are facing as the pandemic continues, many have already come forward to join the NSBP. There are still places available on the programme for schools who want to start or enhance breakfast provision for their pupils.
Schools across England are showing great enthusiasm to launch their NSBP breakfast provision and we have been delighted to hear the positive impact breakfast is already having on their pupils.
We spoke to some of our schools on the programme to find out about how they had found the programme so far.
Forest Academy has around 900 students and is located in Ilford in Essex.
Principal Will Mackintosh said:
“Our breakfast club at The Forest Academy has so far been a massive success. Each day we have had more students attend than the day before, and the reception from the parents and the school community has been very positive. We are offering a range of bagels and cereal. We are really pleased with the partnership with the National School Breakfast Programme, and it is part of our commitment at The Forest Academy to ensure all students can start the day with a healthy breakfast and to ensure that no child goes hungry”
“Our breakfast club at The Forest Academy has so far been a massive success. Each day we have had more students attend than the day before, and the reception from the parents and the school community has been very positive.”
Hollinwood Academy is a special school in Oldham that provides an educational offer for children and young people with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Speech, language and communication difficulties.
Headteacher Laura Millard said:
“The breakfast programme has already had a massive positive impact on the students. The students are more settled for the day and students are really enjoying the bagels in the mornings.”
Greenfields Community Primary School has 383 pupils and joined the National School Breakfast Programme in October 2021.
Headteacher Daniel Andrews said:
“Having the bagels in the morning at Greenfields has been a huge success. We have linked this with reading to have ‘bagel and a book’ sessions which the children have really enjoyed. The parents have given positive feedback and think the initiative is an excellent idea. ‘Bagel and a book’ is here to stay!”
Family Action’s Chief Executive David Holmes CBE said:
“A healthy breakfast can make the world of difference to a child at the beginning of the school day. It is so much easier to concentrate and to learn if your tummy is full. Despite all of the challenges schools are facing as the pandemic continues, I am humbled that so many are still finding time to apply for a place on the NSBP. The NSBP has already had 2934 applications from eligible schools and 1245 number of schools have already found the time to complete their enrolment process and sign up to the Programme. 847 schools are already receiving breakfast food.
I urge any eligible school to sign up to the NSBP while places remain available. I know that there are so many other things to focus on at the current time but optimising your breakfast provision through the NSBP is worth it. It will help you to counter the effects of the pandemic because you will see immediate benefits in terms of increased attendance, reduced lateness and improved concentration and behaviour in class.
The NSBP is here to help you, please join us while you still can.”
“Having the bagels in the morning at Greenfields has been a huge success. We have linked this with reading to have ‘bagel and a book’ sessions which the children have really enjoyed.”
Children’s Minister Will Quince said:
“A healthy breakfast can be transformative for children who might not otherwise have this readily available. Seeing the impact our last National School Breakfast Programme has made on children’s behaviour, school attainment and nutrition is fantastic. It’s exactly why we have extended the programme to run for the next two years.
“Family Action is working hard to continue signing up schools for this programme and I want to encourage all teachers and school staff to check if their school is eligible and sign up as soon as possible, so their pupils can also benefit from this really important opportunity.”
If your school hasn’t yet signed up to the programme there is still time to enroll. Click here for more details.