Revealed: What schools will pay to run breakfast clubs

DfE announces an extension of breakfast club scheme - but schools will need to pay a quarter of the cost from next year

Catherine Lough

Revealed: What schools will have to pay to run breakfast clubs

The Department for Education confirmed today that Family Action will be its delivery partner for the National School Breakfast Programme over the next two academic years.

But schools will only receive a 100 per cent subsidy to run breakfast clubs until next March.

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"The subsidy will then be reduced to 75 per cent, allowing schools to contribute 25 per cent from other funding streams," the DfE said.

In March, the DfE said it would put forward £24 million to extend the programme until July 2023. It launched the programme in 2018, setting aside £26 million to support breakfast schemes.

Subsidy for school breakfast clubs will be reduced

"Between March 2018 and July 2021, the National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP) for schools in disadvantaged areas has supported up to 2,450 schools to establish and develop breakfast clubs, and to sustain them in the longer term," DfE guidance says.

It adds that, as per existing guidance, "schools will be eligible for the new programme if they have 50 per cent or more pupils in bands A-F of the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI)".

"All breakfast products will meet the school food standards and schools will be able to choose and order the food products and quantities they need for their pupils," it says.

Children and families minister Vicky Ford said: “The National School Breakfast Programme is a fantastic scheme, helping some of the most disadvantaged children across the country kickstart their day with a good, healthy meal, which can be so important in helping their concentration and behaviour during the school day.  

“Family Action will lead this delivery in schools, backed by our £24 million investment, meaning hundreds of thousands of children can benefit from breakfast clubs over the next two years – I encourage all eligible schools to sign up.”

David Holmes, chief executive of Family Action, said: “We are delighted to be delivering the new National School Breakfast Programme, having delivered the previous NSBP since 2018.

"This is great news for hundreds of thousands of children across the country, who will have access to a free healthy school breakfast without barrier or stigma. 

"We know this gives children the very best chance to learn from the start of their school day.”

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union the NAHT, said: “School leaders see many children arrive at school hungry and unable to learn, something that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic and the financial impact it has had on families. Some children rely on school for their main meal of the day.

“Funding to provide breakfast clubs is welcome. A positive start to the day and a nutritious meal could make a vital difference to children’s wellbeing and education.

"Unfortunately, this scheme only covers a small percentage of schools – a drop in the ocean compared to the need seen across the country.”

Magic Breakfast, which previously ran the scheme with Family Action, did not bid for this tender.

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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