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Over 350k children get their morning off to a better start with the National School Breakfast Programme

14 September 2023

The National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP), delivered by Family Action and funded by the Department for Education, is supporting over 350,000 pupils to have a nutritious breakfast each morning. Here we take a look at the difference the programme is making.

The Progress Report, released this week by the National School Breakfast Programme, highlights the impact that the programme has achieved, supporting children in disadvantaged areas across England. Feedback received from schools, and contained within the report, illustrates the value they are seeing first-hand from receiving supported breakfast provision.

97% of Headteachers surveyed* reported that they have seen a big improvement, or some improvement, in pupils’ readiness to start the school day, and also in pupil wellbeing. Additionally, 93% of respondents noted a decrease in the prevalence of inappropriate food being brought to school, since joining the National School Breakfast Programme.

Anne-Marie McElhinney, Headteacher of St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, said: “Some children were arriving not having had breakfast or had inappropriate food choices. [The NSBP] has encouraged children to develop their social skills and start the school day in a positive way.”

Michelle Binns, Headteacher of Ward Green Primary School, adds: “Children are more regulated and ready for learning, they have reduced anxieties and have developed friendships with children from other year groups which has built their confidence and self-esteem.”

Family Action Chief Executive, David Holmes CBE, said:

“Family Action is both proud and delighted that the National School Breakfast Programme is now providing over 350,000 children with a healthy and nutritious breakfast every school day, that’s over 1.75 million breakfasts being provided every week. The programme is now the biggest it has ever been, currently working with 2694 schools** .

In addition to this significant achievement, our recent Progress Report also demonstrates that the schools we work with have noted improvements in pupil readiness to start the school day, pupil wellbeing, punctuality, behaviour, attendance, pupil social skills and parental engagement.  These are great results which show the very wide-ranging impact of the NSBP.”

Children and Families Minister, David Johnston said:

“Today’s survey findings prove the value of this Government’s National School Breakfast Programme – improving children’s concentration, getting them ready for the day ahead, and helping with their wellbeing.

“1.75 million nutritious breakfasts to children every week is a brilliant milestone, coming alongside the government’s previous expansion in eligibility for free school meals, now covering over a third of pupils in England.”

Find out more about the National School Breakfast Programme or read the full Progress Report to learn more about the difference the programme is making.

*Percentages drawn from 933 responses in the National School Breakfast Programme Headteacher Survey between April and May 2023
**As of 14/09/2023