Magic Breakfast welcomes the news that the Department for Education will be extending its National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP) for a further year, until July 2024.
This is an initial step in ensuring thousands of children experiencing hunger continue to receive a school breakfast during a time when parents up and down the country are struggling to feed their families. And yet the actual figure that need urgent assistance is so much higher. There are more than 10,000 schools in England that have significant levels of disadvantage that require support, according to the Department for Education’s own criteria. The current programme will only reach one quarter of these. Demand for this service is soaring, Magic Breakfast alone has a waiting list of more than 1000 schools. The cost-of-living crisis is deepening, with the latest figures revealing that four million children are now at risk of food insecurity in the UK – approximately one quarter of all children. The NSBP, it isn’t reaching enough of the most vulnerable children and young people and needs to be extended to reach all 10,000 schools in disadvantaged areas.