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 480 Primary, Secondary and ASL/Special Educational Needs schools, plus Pupil Referral Units, to make sure that, in normal times, more than 48,000 children start their school day in the best possible way.  Our partner schools are in most counties in England. In Scotland the charity is working with 39 schools, reaching as many as 4,000 children in Scotland every school day. We are researching the need for our services in Northern Ireland and Wales.

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, February 2019

"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, is delivering the National School Breakfast Programme in England, funded by the Department for Education. The Programme is based on the Magic Breakfast model of breakfast provision and is reaching more than 280,000 children a day with a healthy breakfast as fuel for learning. 

There is more information about the NSBP on Family Action's website: https://www.family-action.org.uk/breakfast/

What about the school holidays?

We are campaigning for an end to hunger in the classroom through a permanent school breakfast scheme, but are acutely aware of the need for breakfast provision in the school holidays too. 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 onwards. 

In addition, 'Magic Breakfast 365' is a 'holiday hunger' scheme that has run for a number of years in the Poplar Partnership group of schools in Tower Hamlets, East London, whereby children can come 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 is being funded by Morgan Stanley as part of their Healthy Cities initiative. 

Morgan Stanley is also 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.

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.