Can you help us make sure every schoolchild starts their day well nourished rather than too hungry to learn? 

July 2017  As our busiest ever year of school support ends, all at Magic Breakfast were disappointed to hear confirmation that the Government will not be pursuing a policy of universal breakfasts for primary schoolchildren announced in the Conservative Party’s election manifesto. This means we as a small charity need to redouble our efforts to help the half a million children who start their school day hungry. We do, however, remain hopeful that one day this can be achieved, that every child in this country benefits from receiving a nourishing breakfast before settling down to learn. 

Where are we now? We've grown in the past academic year and now provide a healthy breakfast to over 470 schools, reaching more than 31,000 children every day in term time. These are schools that have applied to us for urgent food deliveries, teachers telling us that they simply cannot teach because of the levels of child hunger in their classrooms. 

This is simply shocking in the 5th richest economy in the world*. A hungry or malnourished child can’t concentrate, so risks missing out on the most important lessons, taught in the morning, if they don’t get a nutritious breakfast. Four hours of teaching time potentially lost for the want of a healthy breakfast, which Magic Breakfast provides for 22p a day. 

It is not only the right thing to do for children who wake up in a home without food, it is also a great way to boost pupil attainment. Research by the Education Endowment Foundation, the Department for Education and Institute for Fiscal Studies clearly shows that pupils in schools with Magic Breakfast provision get a boost to their educational attainment of as much as 2 months’ additional progress over the course of a year, with all pupils benefiting from no child being hungry**. School breakfast clubs are not just a happy place to start the day, they can have a very real and significant impact on a child’s chances in life. 

Magic Breakfast has long campaigned for children to receive good food throughout the school day, so is glad that Universal Infant Free School Meals are being retained by the Government. The charity is also pleased to learn that the commitment to a tender process for a school breakfast programme, as set out in the Childhood Obesity Plan 2016, remains and hopes this can proceed in the near future.  We have over 300 schools on our waiting list, schools where teachers bring in food for hungry pupils everyday, simply in order to be able to teach. Help to reach the hungry children in these schools can’t come soon enough. 

In the longer term we urge the Government to reconsider and pursue a universal school breakfast programme, designed to reach the country’s most disadvantaged children, using the Magic Breakfast approach. More than ever the UK needs to invest in skills and homegrown talent and, for that to happen, every pupil has to have the right fuel for learning from the beginning to the end of the school day. We are so grateful to our partners in the food industry, particularly Quaker Oats, Tropicana, Tesco, Bagel Nash as well as our newest funding partners at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Amazon, players of People's Postcode Lottery and all our generous supporters. 

Magic Breakfast is determined that this is a country where every child, no matter what their home circumstances, gets a chance to do well. For that to happen we need them to have a nutritious breakfast at the start of the school day. The Magic Breakfast team will be asking everyone, the British public, politicians of all parties, business leaders, education, media and health professionals - everyone - to join us so we reach every hungry schoolchild with the best possible fuel for learning. We remain positive! 

*Source: World Bank GDP Ranking 2016.

** https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/our-work/projects/magic-breakfast/