Cuts in school funding cited as main reason. Schools forced to take money from school trips and classroom resource to keep clubs open
Shocking research reveals 200,000 school kids* could lose access to breakfast at school due to slashed budgets and cuts.
Worrying findings released today revealed 43 per cent of teachers say their school breakfast club will have to close in the next three years – including those that operate in the most deprived parts of the UK.
In the report by Kelloggs titled ‘The future of school breakfast clubs: a funding crisis in the UK’ teachers were asked to list the reasons they fear their clubs will close: 86 per cent said school funding was the main reason.
Troubled teachers also told how the new requirement for extra staffing in clubs (44 per cent) will make them more difficult to run.
In a bid to keep the clubs open, a quarter (26 per cent) of schools have redirected funds from other parts of the school budget such as school trips, making staff cuts and buying fewer classroom resources.
Now some schools have also had to rely on donations from private companies, charities and parents.
Worried teachers warned the closure of their breakfast club will lead to a rise in naughty behaviour in the classroom (34 per cent) and worsen attendance (33 per cent).
More than a third (36 per cent) of teachers surveyed from schools with breakfast clubs that have already closed down said they have since noticed a decline in exam results following the closure.
John Coe from the National Association of Primary Education comments: “Breakfast clubs are at a critical point in their work and the overriding reason is that cuts to school funding over the next three years threaten the closing down of clubs which serve children and young people. The impact upon disadvantaged communities will be particularly severe.
“Teachers testify to the educational gains which stem from a healthy breakfast and the positive effect on school and family life has been confirmed by the Department for Education. Policy makers should listen and then take decisive action to provide financial support.”
Not only will schoolchildren be affected by these closures but working families will feel the impact also. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of parents say the absence of a breakfast club would mean at least one parent would be forced out of work.
David Lawlor, Kellogg’s managing director said: “Great progress has been made since the 1990s to increase the number of schools offering pupils a safe and fun environment that provides a nutritious breakfast. That’s why each year the Kellogg’s Breakfast Club Awards celebrate the fantastic people who make these clubs happen every day in schools up and down the country.
“But the future for these vital breakfast clubs is at risk. The challenge for schools, government and partners in private and third sectors is to ensure that we help to sustain as many pre-school clubs as possible. We will continue to offer grants to schools breakfast clubs because we believe that every child deserves the best start to the day.”
Schools in your area could win £1000 funding for their club by entering the Kellogg’s Breakfast Club awards – www.breakfastclubawards.co.uk.
*The 200,000 pupils breaks down as: 163,000 primary school pupils, 31,000 secondary school pupils and 6,000 special school pupils.
Over 18 million copies of Primary Times magazines are distributed every year through primary schools in 59 regions across the UK and Ireland.