5th December, 2019.

The Mirror is reporting this morning that a Labour government would fund free breakfasts for 1.15 million primary schoolchildren, and pilot the provision of free, healthy breakfasts to 165,000 secondary pupils. The Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, is quoted as saying: “Labour will tackle child poverty while driving up standards in schools by providing extra support to the children who need it most."

In response, Magic Breakfast's CEO, Alex Cunningham, said: "Magic Breakfast’s mission is to ensure that no child starts the day too hungry to learn and so we wholeheartedly welcome this commitment from the Labour Party to the provision of free school breakfasts if elected.

We know from the schools we support that the provision of a school breakfast offers a range of benefits for children, including improved concentration and behaviour.  A healthy breakfast has been shown to boost academic progress, contributing to the closure of the attainment gap and helping to ensure that every child has the chance to unlock their potential and succeed in life.

School breakfasts support the adoption of healthy eating habits and help to improve the wellbeing of children as they start the day feeling settled, nourished and ready to learn. Building on this fantastic commitment, we are also calling on all political parties to commit to school breakfast legislation to guarantee children permanent access to school breakfasts and end classroom hunger for good."

In their election manifesto, the Conservatives have committed to levelling up opportunities across the UK pledging ‘every child, in every part of the country, should have a fair chance’. The Conservatives state that they will continue efforts to reduce poverty, including child poverty. This includes maintaining their commitments to Free School Meals (FSM).

The Liberal Democrats have recognised that children cannot learn properly if they are undernourished. They have pledged to extend free school meals to all primary schoolchildren and to all secondary schoolchildren whose families receive Universal Credit, as well as promoting school breakfast clubs.

Notes to editors

About Magic Breakfast

Magic Breakfast is a registered charity providing healthy breakfasts and wrap-around support to children in the UK who arrive at school too hungry to learn.

The charity works with 480 Primary, Secondary and ASL/Special Educational Needs schools plus Pupil Referral Units, in disadvantaged areas of England and Scotland, ensuring that more than 48,400 children start their school day with the energy and nutrition they need to be able to make the most of their morning lessons.

In March 2018 Magic Breakfast, in partnership with Family Action, was chosen by the Department for Education to deliver a new National School Breakfast Programme to over 1,770 schools in England for at least two years. 

As well as delivering food and drink to a school, Magic Breakfast works with staff to make sure there is no stigma associated with receiving a breakfast and there are no barriers, such as cost, in the way of any hungry child being able to get something to eat on their arrival at school.