Schools to get £26m breakfast club fund

21 Mar 18

Schools in disadvantaged areas are to receive a £26m funding boost to provide children with a free school breakfast, the government has announced.

More than 1,770 schools will benefit from the cash injection, which will be funded through the government’s soft drinks industry levy.

The £26m is new money that will go on top of the annual £10m put towards providing healthy breakfasts, as part of the ongoing Childhood Obesity Plan, which was drawn up in 2016.

Education secretary Damian Hinds said: “Children only get one chance at an education and they deserve the best, whatever their background.

“That is why we are giving more pupils in some of the country’s most disadvantaged areas the chance to go to a breakfast club.

“Paid for by the government’s soft drinks levy, this investment will help raise education standards further and will make sure young people have happy, health childhoods.”

Charities Family Action and Magic Breakfast will run the scheme - beginning in the spring - and it have a particular focus on the Department for Education Opportunity Areas, which are separately receiving £72m each to help create opportunities and raise education standards.

Opportunity Areas, as defined by DfE, are regions of the country where the government are attempting to use local and national resources to increase social mobility.

Carmel McConnell, founder of Magic Breakfast, said: “Crucially, it will ensure a nutritious breakfast reaches many more thousands of hungry schoolchildren, unlocking up to four hours of learning each morning.”

David Holmes, chief executive of Family Action, said the programme will be “changing lives and life chances by preventing thousands of children from being too hungry to learn”.

Concerns were previously raised regarding the under funding of the Tory manifesto pledge for free school breakfasts.

Last year, the government also reversed its commitment to scrapping free school meals.

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