The call for more school breakfasts
We’re supporting the call for the National Schools Breakfast Programme to be extended and scaled up.
We are proud to have joined Magic Breakfast and 30 more charities in signing a letter to Vicky Ford MP, asking for the Government to commit to new funding for school breakfasts.
The Department for Education’s National Schools Breakfast Programme (NSBP) has helped English primary schools set up breakfast clubs since 2018. The programme provides universal free breakfasts within schools where high numbers of pupils come from deprived backgrounds. Initially NSBP was to run for two years, before last January when it was extended for a further 12 months. Funding for the programme is due to end this July.
As detailed in the letter, providing breakfast for schoolchildren has been shown to improve academic outcomes and every £1 spent can generate £50 in long term economic benefits. In October 2020, Emma-Lewell Buck MP presented the School Breakfast Bill to Parliament and it passed its first reading. However, due to Covid-19 disrupting Parliament it is unlikely the bill will now pass.
Breakfast might be called the most important meal of the day, but it is just one of several opportunities to improve our children’s health through school. That’s why we are also asking the Government to undertake a full review of school food policy across the UK.
In other news ...
The Government has extended the Covid Winter Grant Scheme until 16 April, allowing local authorities to support vulnerable families throughout the Easter holidays.
Newham Council has committed to continuing its Eat for Free programme, allowing all primary school children to enjoy a free school meal. This is despite needing to make millions of pounds worth of cuts to ‘non-core’ services.
£220m is available for local authorities (LAs) to run the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) during Easter, summer and Christmas holidays 2021, for children receiving benefits-related free school meals.