Commenting on the Scottish Government’s lack of new announcements in today’s Programme for Government regarding their promise to deliver universal breakfast provision in primary and special schools, Dr Lindsey MacDonald of Magic Breakfast said:
Today’s Programme for Government will be a disappointment for the estimated quarter of a million children and young people who went to school hungry this morning. Without action now, young Scots will continually miss out on achieving their potential.
The Scottish National Party and the Scottish Green Party understand that universal breakfast provision is a priority. That’s why they both included it in their manifestos just 16 months ago. What’s changed since then? Since the last election our partner schools have told us that poverty has been getting worse in their communities. Promises need to become policies now more than ever.
Working with over 200,000 children and young people in some of Scotland and England’s most disadvantaged communities, we understand the scale of the challenge governments across the UK face. We welcome announcements today that show the Scottish Government is committed to the Scottish Child Payment and the expansion of school lunches. These progressive policies show a commitment to young Scots. We don’t doubt that.
Magic Breakfast understands the tough choices faced by the Scottish Government. With a constrained and finite budget, smart spending choices need to be made in the best interests of the Scottish people. Children and young people are always a smart investment.
As we showed in our Spring Policy Briefing Series earlier this year, universal breakfast provision is a smart investment in Scotland’s economy and future. Scotland is falling behind the rest of the UK in delivering school breakfast provision: an unsustainable position.
This week, our team is inside Holyrood speaking with decision makers about the case for delivering a new future. A future where promises are kept, and commitments delivered. A future where children and young people sit down at their desks in the morning ready to learn and fulfil their potential. A future where tackling child morning hunger isn’t a discussion, it’s a reality.