Give a Child a Breakfast
Children start the school day hungry as budget cuts force breakfast clubs to close.
Thousands of British school children face going hungry in the morning after teachers revealed that one in eight breakfast clubs have been shut down.
Over 20,000 breakfast clubs were running in schools around Britain providing a nutritious meal for children as well essential childcare for working parents. However, 3000 of these have now closed and more than half of the teachers surveyed (52%) said that budget cuts were to blame.
The new report by Kellogg’s Corn Flakes has revealed that of those breakfast clubs still going; nearly half (45%) think budget cuts will force their breakfast clubs to close unless other funding becomes available. This is despite Prime Minister David Cameron recently saying a child’s future depends on a good start to the day, with a healthy breakfast.*
The report reveals the detrimental impact the closure of breakfast clubs could have according to teaching professionals across the UK. Almost two thirds of teachers (62%) believe that the closure of their breakfast club would result in lower grades in their school. Behaviour would also deteriorate according to more than half (52%) of the teachers and nearly all (98%) felt those students that had eaten breakfast were able to concentrate better in lessons that those that hadn’t.
Attendance (37%) and punctuality (51%) would also be negatively impacted according to the report and one in six (17%) teachers felt that certain children wouldn’t get breakfast at all if it wasn’t for the breakfast club.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has stated that corporate organisations may need to ‘put their hands in their pockets’ to bridge the funding gap.
In response, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes is launching the ‘Help give a child a breakfast’ campaign and the company is pledging to make a donation to school breakfast clubs for every pack of Corn Flakes sold with the target of raising a minimum of £300,000 – which will provide one million breakfasts by the end of 2012.
Mr John Lane, head teacher from Sacred Heart Primary School in Islington, London said:
‘Breakfast clubs are a lifeline for many children but with budgets being tight they could sadly become an unaffordable luxury in future.
‘If our club were to close, not only would that impact on teachers, who would have to contend with distracted pupils, and parents, from a childcare perspective, but it’s the children that would ultimately pay the greatest price.’
According to research by Edcoms, a quarter of primary school teachers felt that the closure of their breakfast club would significantly inconvenience parents and Siobhan Freegard from leading online parenting organisation Netmums agrees.
‘Breakfast clubs are a sanity saver for us mums – particularly working mums – because we’re pushed for time in the morning and we know our children are benefiting from a good breakfast that will help them learn and achieve. Many parents would really struggle for childcare if schools were to cut back on wrap-around services putting increased pressure on our jobs.’
Kellogg’s has been supporting school breakfast clubs in the UK since 1998 investing £1.5million into setting up new clubs. Bruce Learner, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Kellogg’s, said: ‘We decided to launch this campaign to help existing breakfast clubs as we’ve had a constant stream of schools contact us to say their breakfast clubs are closing and we know what a vital service they provide to children, parents and teachers.’
It’s hoped the campaign will help bridge the funding gap and Kellogg’s are calling on schools to apply for the grants by visiting www.giveachildabreakfast.co.uk.
For further information, including a selection of case studies, please contact Kate Prince at Kellogg’s on 0161 869 5035/07812 355441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kellogg’s works in partnership with ContinYou on its breakfast club programme. Over the last twelve years, we have set up over 500 breakfast clubs which serve 1.5 million breakfasts each year. Visit our Breakfast Club Plus webpages for lots of information, advice and guidance about how to set up and sustain a breakfast club.
*Quote from Prime Minister David Cameron: ‘Getting the best start in life is important for a child’s future and that start can begin quite literally, even before the school day, with a healthy breakfast.’ www.number10.gov.uk