Thursday 1st March 2018:   

Leading school breakfast provider Magic Breakfast announced today that it has extended its support to Scotland, working in partnership with schools, local authorities and funding partners to eradicate hunger as a barrier to education in areas of social deprivation.

Magic Breakfast provides healthy breakfasts to children who arrive at school too hungry or malnourished to learn. The charity is delighted to be working with 13 schools in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife and North Ayrshire, reaching over 400 children in Scotland every school day, with plans in place to begin delivering food and expert support to schools in East Ayrshire, Falkirk, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire later in 2018.  In England, Magic Breakfast is providing breakfasts to more than 31,500 children in over 470 schools.

26% of children in Scotland (260,000 children) are classified as living in relative poverty.¹  By the time a pupil starts school in Scotland, those in the most deprived fifth of communities are well behind those from the 10% of areas with the highest income.  On average, the more deprived pupils are 13 months behind in their vocabulary. They are 10 months behind in problem-solving.

School breakfast clubs have been shown to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged children.  Independent research, published in November 2016, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, found that primary schools that offered a free and nutritious Magic Breakfast boosted their pupils’ reading, writing and maths results by an average of two months’ progress over the course of a year.²

Anthony Currie, Head Teacher at St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Edinburgh, said: “This school year we have had the privilege to work in partnership with Magic Breakfast. As a result, our children and school community have thrived!  Every child in St. Joseph’s has the opportunity to enjoy a high quality, nourishing breakfast before school starts, providing them with a great start to the day and ready to enjoy their learning when school begins. The children also benefit from learning key life skills in the preparation of their breakfast food alongside an excellent staff team. The feedback from the children also highlighted the social benefits they feel they have gained from eating and sharing a first meal of the day together. We are proud to be working in partnership with Magic Breakfast to support the children and families of St. Joseph’s.”

Jamie Petrie, Head Teacher at Broomhouse Primary School in Edinburgh, added: “Our partnership with Magic Breakfast has given the pupils at the school an opportunity to start the day ready to achieve and attain.  It has allowed us to break down the barriers that hunger brings to children with tough realities. The food and fruit juice is the high quality that our wonderful children deserve so that they are prepared for all the challenges that lay ahead in the school day. The generosity of Magic Breakfast also allows us to feed all our children, not just those that attend breakfast club. This has really helped children that can't attend breakfast club, but still come to school hungry, access the fuel they need to learn and play.”

The Founder of Magic Breakfast, Carmel McConnell, MBE, said: “It is a great privilege to be able to help schools in Scotland set up and run healthy breakfast provision for their pupils. Magic Breakfast sends many thanks to all the schools and local authorities we are working with for their energy and support in ensuring that no child in Scotland starts their school day too hungry or malnourished to learn. Our sincere thanks too to the charity’s funders, food and delivery partners who are making it possible for us to deliver over 400 breakfasts to children in Scotland every school day.”   

Magic Breakfast is supported and funded in Scotland by Amazon UK, Bagel Nash, Igloo Thermo Logistics, Morgan Stanley, People’s Postcode Lottery, Quaker Oats UK and Tropicana.



¹ Source: Poverty and Income Equality in Scotland: 2015/16 – published by the Scottish Government

² Source:


Notes to Editors:

Magic Breakfast

Magic Breakfast focuses on reaching children in disadvantaged areas of the UK, forming partnerships with schools and working with them to ensure the most vulnerable children have access to a healthy meal, without barrier or stigma, in a safe, nurturing environment, at the start of the school day.

Magic Breakfast was established in 2003 by Carmel McConnell MBE in response to headteachers telling her that the biggest obstacle to them being able to teach was hunger among their pupils who, as a consequence, were unable to concentrate in their morning lessons. 

A Primary School in Scotland qualifies for Magic Breakfast support when 55% (or above) pupils are in SIMD Decile 1 and 2 and/or 35% (or above) are eligible for FSM.  A Secondary School qualifies for support when 40% (or above) pupils are in SIMD Decile 1 and 2. (In England the charity helps schools where over 35% of pupils are eligible for Free School Meals - or where over 50% of children have been eligible for FSMs in the past 6 years).

Magic Breakfast provides the expertise and food – including low-sugar cereal, porridge, unsweetened juice and low fat bagels fortified with Vitamin D, but with no artificial additives or E numbers - schools provide the facilities and staffing, helping to promote healthy eating habits. The food Magic Breakfast provides to schools complies with government school food standards and regulations in Scotland and England.

Magic Breakfast would like every school where hunger is a barrier to education to receive the full support it needs to provide pupils with a free, nutritious breakfast, so that no child in the UK is too hungry to learn.


Magic Breakfast’s partnership with Amazon was launched in December 2016. In the 2017-18 school year, Amazon will be funding one million breakfasts in 77 schools across the UK, including 2 in Edinburgh, 2 in Glasgow, 1 in Dunfermline and 1 in Gourock.  Amazon will also be launching a volunteering programme in Edinburgh, giving their employees the opportunity to get involved in supporting the running of activities at these schools’ breakfast clubs, including reading with the children.  

A good education plays such an important role in helping kids build the skills and confidence they need to fulfil their potential,” said Graeme Smith, Managing Director, Amazon Development Centre Scotland. “Every child, regardless of background, should get an equal chance to excel at school, and we should not allow hunger to be a barrier to getting a great education. That’s why we’re pleased to extend our support for Magic Breakfast to Scotland, helping them provide nutritious breakfasts that improve concentration, boost attendance and ensure Scottish children get a better start in life.”

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is funding a school holiday food and creative play project together with Magic Breakfast and PEEK, in the Sighthill area of Glasgow as part of their Healthy Cities initiative. The aim is to create memorable holidays for Sighthill children and their families, while teaching nutrition and play. The project launched in December 2017 with a holiday breakfast, lunch and creative play sessions, including cooking classes, and will continue each holiday in the coming year.

People’s Postcode Lottery

People’s Postcode Lottery’s headquarters is located in Edinburgh. People’s Postcode Lottery manages multiple society lotteries which see players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes, whilst raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally. The total money raised so far stands at over £272 million. Since 2013 players of People’s Postcode Lottery have awarded over one million pounds to Magic Breakfast and they will be supporting 6 schools in Scotland in 2018.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “It is a real pleasure to see that our players are able to support schoolchildren in Scotland through funds awarded to Magic Breakfast. We are looking forward to seeing the growth of school breakfast provision across the country, with the health and educational advantages to pupils this will bring".

Quaker UK

Quaker has been supporting Magic Breakfast since 2009, donating almost a million servings of Quaker porridge oats to the charity’s partner schools. From its base in Fife, Quaker supplies porridge to over 60 countries around the world, including the UK, Europe, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Quaker has been milling oats at this site since 1947 and over 10 million UK households buy a Quaker product every year.


Photo caption:"Pupils from St Mark's Primary, North Ayrshire, enjoy a Magic Breakfast".


For media enquiries please contact Sophia Dettmer at Magic Breakfast. Tel: 07399 553154. Email: [email protected]

Schools and Local Authorities requiring more information, please email Magic Breakfast’s Regional Lead in Scotland, Tracy Freeman: [email protected]