Breakfast clubs could offer a lifeline for some families. There has been lots of press surrounding breakfast clubs, predominantly in primary schools, but what about older children?
As we mentioned in our Good food means good grades blog, hunger and nutrition can deeply affect students’ education and ultimately their exam grades.
The government’s plan
As mentioned in the Budget, the government plans to commence a pilot in January 2024, initially working with sixteen local authorities to increase their breakfast club and after school care offerings. The current scheme and funding applies to pupils up to year 9.
There’s no doubt, implementing this government initiative within the timeframe will put a strain on some schools and as yet, there’s very little information currently available to assist with this.
Is it worth setting up your breakfast club now?
Cost of living pressures continue to affect so many families that many adolescences often skip meals, and often arrive at school hungry. Other factors also contribute to this problem, including a lack of routine at home or just poor appetite first thing in the morning.
Free school meals help to tackle hunger at lunchtime, but what can you do for breakfast?
Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day. Studies show that children who start their day with a healthy breakfast benefit from better concentration, are more motivated, and generally perform and behave better in school. Sadly, not all children have access to a nutritious breakfast at home. That’s where your breakfast club could come in.
Providing a breakfast club ensures your students start their day with a healthy breakfast and offers routine.
Setting up a breakfast club can help your families immensely, by providing this service either at low or no cost.
One option is to use donations to help fund your breakfast club.
There are also grants available, the Grants4Schools website summarises some.
It’s always good practice to remain aware of any fundraising opportunities including locally-driven projects available and keep an eye on our news page for updates on the government’s wraparound care initiatives as they develop.
Evaluating your breakfast club’s progress
Gathering information about positive and negative outcomes will help in planning the future of your breakfast club.
Evidence of the breakfast club’s benefits is vital when applying for funding.
- Give questionnaires to parents and students to find out what they do and don’t like, and get suggestions too.
- Review your other school records (e.g. on attendance, punctuality and behaviour) to evaluate the benefits.