8 October 2021

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for our Policy and Campaigns team and our Youth Campaigners as they put the case for healthy school breakfasts at both the Labour and Conservative party conferences.

Labour Party Conference

First off was the Labour Party conference in Brighton, attended by our Parliamentary Officer, Joe, Campaigns Officer, Jake, and two of our Youth Campaigners, Sara and Nadia.

Sara and Nadia spoke to many MPs about why the issue of school breakfasts is so important to them and what they believe Government needs to do to improve school breakfast provision.

Among the MPs they spoke to was Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee. Through his work on the Select Committee, he has been scrutinising the Government’s approach to measuring and tackling child poverty, and so Sara and Nadia were able to talk about how breakfast provision could play a huge role in reducing child poverty.

Youth Campaginers Sara and Nadia with Sharon Hodgson MP and Luke Pollard MP

Luke Pollard MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was very supportive of our calls for the Government to scale-up their school breakfast provision, and committed to furthering our case with the Government from the frontbench.

Sara and Nadia also met with Sharon Hodgson MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on School Food; Kate Osborne MP, Member of the Education Select Committee; and Kerry McCarthy MP, Member of Parliament for Bristol East.

On the Monday of Conference we took members of the Shadow Education team, including Kate Green MP, Shadow Education Secretary, and Peter Kyle MP, Shadow Schools Minister to a Magic Breakfast-supported breakfast club at local school, Brighton Aldridge Community Academy.

It was great for them to see first-hand the benefits of Magic Breakfast provision, and speak to staff and students about the impact the breakfast club has on them and the school.

Bob Speight, Principal of Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA); Kate Green MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education; Paul Lovegrove, Chair of Governors at BACA;
Peter Kyle MP, Shadow Schools Minister and MP for Hove and Portslade. 

The following day, it was excellent to see Kate Green outline the Labour Party’s commitment to universal free school breakfast provision in her speech to the conference, highlighting the support we have amongst the party and their MPs for our work and our policy proposals.

Conservative Party Conference

At Conservative Party Conference, Joe and Youth Campaigners, Finlay and Francis, attended to make Magic Breakfast’s case for the importance of school breakfast provision to Conservative MPs.

Magic Breakfast met with Matt Vickers MP, Member of Parliament for Stockton South, who expressed his support for Magic Breakfast’s work, and also committed to raising our case in parliament for the scaling-up of the Department for Education’s school breakfast food supply contract.  

Francis met with Sally-Ann Hart MP, Member of Parliament for Hastings, who similarly expressed her support for Magic Breakfast’s campaigning work.

Youth Campaigner Finlay with Matt Vickers MP and Jack Brereton MP and Francis meeting Sally Ann Hart MP.

Over the course of the two days, we also met with Damian Green MP, the former First Secretary of State, and Jack Brereton MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Ministry of Defence.

On the Tuesday of Conference, we hosted a fringe event alongside the thinktank Bright Blue. This consisted of a panel discussion which you can watch here titled: ‘Food for Thought? The role of government and businesses in tackling food insecurity amongst children’. Our Head of Fundraising, Emily Wilkie, spoke on the panel, alongside our Youth Campaigner Francis. Both were brilliant at highlighting the impact of the work of Magic Breakfast, but also the need for further government investment in school breakfast provision so that no child in the UK starts the day too hungry to learn.

Also on the panel were Anne Longfield OBE (former Children’s Commissioner) and Danny Kruger MP (MP and PPS to the Levelling-up department).

Overall, it’s been a great couple of weeks raising our profile with MPs and decision-makers, and making the very urgent case for more school breakfast provision.