Breakfast Clubs: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will take steps to continue the National School Breakfast Programme during the May half-term holiday during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

As my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, have both made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Our latest guidance for schools is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Alongside our national approach to supporting pupils claiming free school meals, we are committed to supporting schools and children who benefit from our breakfast club programme. This programme operates during term-time periods.

Our suppliers Family Action, along with Magic Breakfast, are in contact with schools on the programme where possible. They are working closely with them to target the children most in need to continue to provide them with a healthy breakfast.

Family Action have reported that over 1000 schools in disadvantaged areas are registered to receive breakfast deliveries from this programme during the COVID-19 outbreak. These schools are located nationwide across England.

Schools on the programme can choose to support children in the way which works best for them. This may include parents collecting food parcels from open schools or breakfast food ‘drop offs’ to families. This should be arranged alongside the school’s wider support for children on free school meals. Schools must follow Public Health England’s advice on social distancing at all times.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We will continue to keep the situation under review and to keep Parliament updated accordingly.

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