We ensure that no child in our partner schools is too hungry to learn by providing healthy breakfast food and expert support to help identify and reach those pupils at risk of hunger. A hungry child cannot concentrate so could miss out on half a day of lessons every school day if not given anything nutritious to eat first thing.

We work with over 1,000 Primary, Secondary and ASL/Special Educational Needs schools, plus Pupil Referral Units, offering breakfasts to over 200,000 children each school day.  Our partner schools are in most counties in England. In Scotland we work with 38 schools. All children in local authority maintained primary schools in Wales are entitled to a free school breakfast. However, Magic Breakfast's goal is for there to be no child in the UK too hungry to learn so we are researching the need for our support in Wales and would be keen to extend our help where needed, and when funding allows. We are also researching the need for our services in Northern Ireland.

Once a school has submitted an application for support, and we have checked whether they are eligible for our help, we will hold their details on file and contact them as soon as funding becomes available. For a school in England to be eligible, at least 35% of pupils should be recorded as eligible for Pupil Premium. A Primary School in Scotland qualifies for Magic Breakfast support when at least 55% of pupils are in SIMD Deciles 1 to 4 and/or at least 35% are eligible for FSM. A Secondary School qualifies for support when at least 40% of pupils are in SIMD Deciles 1 to 4.

Map of the locations of Magic Breakfast partner schools, March 2022

"Magic Breakfast, for us, is our life-saver! Without their support we could not offer free breakfast to the many children within our school community who need it. With their help we are able to ensure most of our children start the school day on time and with a full tummy. Added to this, the Club gives the opportunity for children to talk to adults if they need to, and at times problems arising the night before at home can be unpicked and sorted out prior to the start of the school day. It is, without a doubt, one of the best things I have ever had for my school." Anne Elford, Headteacher, Windsor Community School, Liverpool.

The National School Breakfast Programme 

In addition to the charity's core business, Magic Breakfast, in partnership with Family Action, delivered the National School Breakfast Programme in England, funded by the Department for Education, from March 2018 until July 2021. The Programme was based on the Magic Breakfast model of breakfast provision and, at its peak, was reaching over 375,000 children (according to reports from school staff). 

The original National School Breakfast Programme, as co-delivered by Magic Breakfast, has now ended and Magic Breakfast does not have any part in the government's current school breakfast food delivery contract. 

What about the school holidays?

We are campaigning for an end to hunger in the classroom through a permanent school breakfast scheme, but also for breakfast provision for children at risk of hunger in the school holidays. As part of Magic Breakfast's Covid-19 crisis response, we continued to offer breakfasts to children, through our partner schools, during school holidays, and have pledged to continue to do so for each school holiday from Summer 2020 until at least the end of the 2022 academic year. Over the 2020 Summer and Christmas holidays we provided breakfasts to around 35,000 children each time.

In addition, 'Magic Breakfast 365' is a 'holiday hunger' scheme that ran for a number of years in the Poplar Partnership group of schools in Tower Hamlets, East London, whereby children came to a local school to enjoy a healthy breakfast, learn cookery skills, play games, have some exercise and take home the food they have made for lunch.  The scheme was funded by Morgan Stanley as part of their Healthy Cities initiative. 

Morgan Stanley also funded 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 was 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 ran until December 2021.

We are delighted to be running a pilot project, funded by Yusuf/Cat Stevens' Peacetrain Foundation, providing nutritious breakfasts to children in 8 of our partner schools all year round. The project started in 2020. 

In the Summer of 2018, the Department for Education funded a number of pilot projects designed to help families struggling with the extra costs of food and childcare during the school holidays. One of these projects, 'Families, Food and Fun' was coordinated by Family Action, with additional support being provided by Magic Breakfast and the Brakes founded Meals & More programme. The programme offered children and their parents/carers free healthy food. Alongside this, a range of enrichment activities, including food preparation, growing food, cooking, budgeting, music, drama, crafts, and physical activity was on offer. There were also educational trips in the local community and signposting to local support services.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The child in the photograph is being used to illustrate the page visually only.