Thousands more children across the country will get a healthy and nutritious breakfast to set them up for the school day, thanks to an additional investment of up to £11.8 million by the government to support disadvantaged families.
So far around 1,800 school breakfast clubs have been created or improved by the National School Breakfast Programme in disadvantaged areas and thanks to this additional investment up to 650 more schools will benefit in the next year, with resources specifically targeted at the most disadvantaged areas to help make sure every child gets the best start in life.
Underlining the government’s bold manifesto pledge to level up across the country and create a £1 billion fund for more high quality wraparound and holiday childcare places, thousands more disadvantaged children will also be offered activities and free meals during the six week summer holiday in 2020, funded by £9 million from the Department for Education. The department will announce the areas that will benefit from this funding shortly.
Family Action, in partnership with Magic Breakfast, will continue to run the National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP) until March 2021. This one-year extension will kick-start self-sustaining clubs in schools in disadvantaged areas. So far the two charities have recruited over 1,800 schools in disadvantaged areas, and report that over 280,000 breakfasts are served in these schools every day through the programme.
The Holiday Activities and Food scheme follows successful programmes in 2018 and 2019, which saw charities and community groups provide meals and activities such as football, play sessions and cooking classes for children across the country. Around 18,000 children benefited in 2018, and the programme was expanded in 2019, with around 50,000 children enjoying this free holiday provision this year. The Department launched a recruitment process to find co-ordinators to run similar programmes in 2020.
Through these breakfast and holiday programmes, parents will also have access to information so that they can learn how best to provide their children with healthy food, as an additional new strand of our overall provision next year.