1 September 2020

Autumn term is upon us in England and Wales and, as schools face the challenges of re-opening, we too are having to change our breakfast model in order to reach as many vulnerable children as possible.

This week the National Foundation for Educational Research published some worrying research showing that children in England are three months behind in their studies after lockdown, with boys and poor pupils worst hit.

This learning gap was also highlighted in the YouGov survey that we published in July where 80% of teachers said that school closures will have negatively impacted their pupils’ educational attainment.

According to the Food Foundation, 5 weeks into lockdown, 2 million children had already experienced food insecurity. Those children have now been out of school for five months.

However, our survey also found that, of the teachers who responded from schools with above average levels of disadvantage, 83% said that school breakfasts would help children catch up on learning lost during lockdown.

Breakfast has never mattered more. Children will be arriving at school hungry and won’t be able to learn if their first meal of the day is lunch.

Over the summer holidays we were able to provide healthy breakfasts to almost 35,000 vulnerable children thanks to some fantastic support from big names such as Heinz, Arla, Morrisons and Amazon.

As the new term begins, we are offering a variety of methods to provide healthy breakfasts depending on what best suits our schools and their families.

In some schools, breakfast is being moved into the classroom in order to keep the children in their ‘bubbles’, whilst others are asking to continue with home deliveries. Schools can also offer children take home breakfast packs to eat before school, or during a localised lockdown. Our School Partners work closely with schools to enable them to find the best way to reach all pupils at risk of hunger.

Our costs during our Covid-19 Crisis Response have risen substantially but, thanks to a successful Keeping Breakfast Going campaign and the generosity of our supporters, we will be doing just that, keeping breakfast going, even if this school year, it looks a bit different.