The United Kingdom faces a school attendance crisis. Over one in five pupils in England were persistently absent from school in the 2021/2022 academic year – a figure that has doubled since before the Covid pandemic.
The reasons for absence rates increasing may be complex, but the importance of turning them around isn’t – school attendance is one of the biggest indicators of attainment.
We were delighted to hear the Labour Party talk recently about breakfast clubs being crucial to solving the attendance crisis in schools. Solving our school attendance crisis will take a variety of solutions, all working simultaneously, but we know – and can prove – that school breakfasts needs to be one of those solutions.
Magic Breakfast has a positive impact on attendance. Schools with breakfast have 26 fewer half-days of absence per year in a class of 30, compared to those without breakfast.
Below, our CEO Lindsey MacDonald gives our thoughts on how breakfast clubs can support attendance in schools.
- Breakfast clubs in schools can support children and young people to get into school – get there on time – and help give them the start they need to take on their school day.
- Breakfast provision needs to be delivered in a way that it reaches the hungriest children – for example having a ‘grab n go’ bagel in the playground, or breakfast available for children who arrive late, is really important.
- Government policies based on evidence are vital if we’re going to have a real impact on children’s lives.
We’re ready to work with all political parties to develop evidence-based policies that ensure no child arrives at school too hungry to learn.
You can find out more about how breakfast provision can support school attendance here.