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Magic Breakfast Response to new research showing free school meals boost child attainment Daily Telegraph

1st August 2014

In today’s Daily Telegraph, Christopher Hope reports on government research that concludes that giving free meals to primary school children leads to significant increases in attainment, especially among pupils from poorer backgrounds.

The research, commissioned by the Department for Education and the Department of Health, was carried out during pilot schemes for the roll out in September of the initiative that will allow all pupils in their first three years of primary school to have free school lunches.

The report’s authors suggest the positive effects of the free school meals could be as a result of the children eating more nutritious food, from there being social benefits of children eating a meal together and from more positive relationships between parents and schools. The report reinforces Magic Breakfast’s own experience and research from working with over 250 schools. 94% of Magic Breakfast partner schools have seen children attending breakfast clubs having improved social relationships.

Magic Breakfast partner school, Lawdale Primary School, Tower Hamlets, recently told us:

"The most beneficial part of the breakfast club is the social aspect of children engaging with each other through having breakfast together, helping each other with their homework and of course doing sport related activities"

The overwhelming message that we get from our partner schools is that children who attend breakfast club are able to concentrate better in class, they attend lessons more regularly and so are much more successful in their school work than they were when they came to school too hungry to learn.

Magic Breakfast’s Interim CEO, Alex Cunningham, said:

“This research matches our partner school feedback, that Magic Breakfast support improves child attainment, as well as attendance, punctuality and behaviour. We’re in a period of rapid expansion, having won the Government breakfast club tender earlier this year. Our growth to reach many more hungry children will complement the Universal Infant Free School Meals scheme and continues our role within the School Food Plan.”

We are confident that, as demonstrated in the government’s new research, pupil attainment will follow this increase in healthy breakfast provision and, as a consequence, these breakfast club children will have more choice and success in their academic and working lives.

"The most beneficial thing with the breakfast club is the social skills the children learn from eating and talking together at a table." – Pakeman Primary School, Islington.

 
Magic Breakfast announced as Coutts London Charity of the Year

 

Tuesday 8th July 2014

We are delighted to announce that Magic Breakfast has been chosen as Coutts London Charity of the Year 2014/15. The Charity of Year was decided by the employees, where a staggering 70% voted for Magic Breakfast!

The employees will be doing a variety of fundraising activities throughout the year whilst also building awareness of Magic Breakfast and the issue of child hunger in the UK.

The purpose of the partnership is to not only help us feed more hungry children across the country but also to utilise the employees time and skills by organising volunteering opportunities at Magic Breakfast partner schools across London.

The volunteers will be getting involved in a number of different ways from running activities at the breakfast clubs such as crafts and chess to making healthy and original porridge toppings with the children. Outside of breakfast club, the volunteers will be using their skills to present assemblies on healthy eating to encourage children to try new foods and to learn about the benefits of a nutritious breakfast.

Interim CEO Alex Cunningham said ‘Thank you so much to everyone who voted, we are looking forward to the benefits this new partnership will bring to the children in our partner schools, making sure no child starts the day too hungry to learn.’

The photo above shows members of the Coutts Charity Committee visiting Mandeville Primary in Hackney yesterday morning, one of the schools where they will be volunteering.

 
Magic Breakfast partner school- TES Primary School of Year Award 2014!
Tuesday 8th July 2014
Congratulations to Magic Breakfast partner school St Mary’s Church of England Primary, Moss Side, who have won the TES Primary School of Year Award 2014!

The judges said:“This is an amazing school with an amazing record of achievement in incredibly difficult circumstances. The can-do approach to educational achievement is an inspiration”.

Hear hear!  We are proud to know pupils and teachers at St Mary’s and have always known that it’s not just their breakfasts that are magic!
 
Magic Breakfast partner school plays host to BBC Radio Kent

 

18th June 2014

Westcourt Primary School, in Gravesend, was delighted to welcome BBC Radio Kent to their breakfast club on Wednesday 18th June for a series of live broadcasts during the station’s Breakfast Show.

The school’s breakfast club, which receives free porridge, cereal, bagels and fruit juice from Magic Breakfast, feeds around 40 pupils each day – 60 children each week overall.

Radio Kent’s reporter, Phil Harrison, appeared on air four times interviewing, in different slots, the Deputy Head of Westcourt Primary, Margaret Sexton, children (who told him which cereal they liked best), parents, and Magic Breakfast General Manager, Alex Cunningham (who was feeling right at home as he grew up in Gravesend!).

The BBC was getting the message across to Radio Kent listeners about how important it is that children eat a nutritious breakfast each morning as it help them to concentrate in lessons and teaches them life-long healthy eating habits.

The broadcasts also helped to spread the word about Magic Breakfast’s current drive to find 184 new partner schools before the end of this term. We have been awarded government funding to allow us to assist in the setting up and running of these additional breakfast clubs and supply them with free food for a year. To qualify, schools should have no existing breakfast club and over 35% of pupils should be eligible for free school meals. Schools in any area of England can apply.

A big thank you to Westcourt Primary and to BBC Radio Kent – it was an exciting morning!

Listen again to the radio show

 
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