ASCL comment on Labour’s plan for breakfast clubs

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders responds to plans being announced by Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson to introduce fully funded breakfast clubs in every primary school in England.
We welcome this focus on ensuring all primary school children are able to start the day with a healthy meal. Not only is this important in terms of wellbeing, but it is also educationally important as pupils are not in a fit state to learn if they are hungry. It is a sad reflection on our society, and on the government’s record, that nearly a third of children in the UK live in poverty.

“Many schools already provide breakfast clubs through a variety of routes, including national and local government schemes, charities, businesses and school budgets. But establishing this fully funded entitlement would simplify the situation and ensure this provision is deliverable in all primary schools. 

“We would also like to see eligibility for free lunch provision extended to include all families in receipt of universal credit. We are concerned that many families in financially challenging circumstances currently miss out. Consideration should also be given to extending this entitlement through holiday periods