National School Breakfast Programme

Department for Education written question – answered at on 10 September 2021.

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Photo of Siobhain McDonagh Siobhain McDonagh Labour, Mitcham and Morden

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to clarify (a) which schools are participating in the National School Breakfast Programme and (b) whether the purpose of that programme is to alleviate classroom hunger.

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

The government is committed to continuing support for breakfast clubs and we are funding up to a further £24 million to continue our programme over the next two years. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas meaning that thousands of children in low income families will be offered nutritious breakfasts.

The focus of the programme is to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the Department for Education’s Opportunity Areas. Schools will be eligible for the programme if they have 50% or more pupils within bands A-F of the Income deprivation affecting children index (IDACI) scale. When schools join the programme, they will sign a partnership agreement that requires them to identify and target those children that are most in need of support. Our provider, Family Action, will monitor attendance data at each participating school, and will support those schools with their targeting where needed. This will ensure that the programme benefits the children who are most in need of support.

The enrolment process for schools joining the programme is currently ongoing, and we have seen a strong interest so far from eligible schools since we invited the expressions of interest. Schools are currently still able to apply to join the programme. As we are still registering schools for the programme, it is too early to publish a list of participating schools. However, we will consider the best opportunities to share information on the programme as it progresses.

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