Breakfast clubs are seating now

10th September 2004 at 01:00
The unmistakable aroma of browning toast is set to waft through all of North Lanarkshire's 130 primaries.

In what may be a national first, the authority's breakfast club pilot, begun in 1999, will ensure that every child can experience the snap, crackle and pop of cereals and the crunch of toast before they start their classes. Children will normally be charged 60p a day but some will pay just 20p.

Surveys among the 16 pilot schools showed that almost 600 pupils regularly took advantage of a healthier start to the day. Most (65 per cent) are in P4-P7 with an even split between girls and boys.

Food will be available from 8.30am-8.55am and will be provided by the catering service. A supervisor will be employed for an hour a day, although headteachers will be able to extend the service if they want. They can include other activities.

Charles Gray, the authority's education convener, said the evidence was that children who took part had a more settled start to the day, were late less often and had better attendance. "The service has proved that children who eat breakfast have a greater attention span than those who don't or those who eat the wrong type of breakfast," Mr Gray said.

One teacher said: "The children are more relaxed when they come in."

Another added: "Time-keeping has really improved since we started offering breakfast in the morning."

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