LACA responds to BBC article ‘Pre-exam breakfasts sent to schools to boost results'

16/05/2013 - 16:20

LACA has issued a statement following a story carried on the BBC website highlighting a campaign to deliver breakfasts to children now that the examination season has begun.

The charity Magic Breakfast is providing 10,000 free breakfasts this week to schools in cities and towns including Bristol, Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Rotherham and London.

“LACA has always supported the vital role which school breakfast clubs play in a child’s daily diet and education.

"With nearly 3.5 million children currently living in poverty in the UK as well as the added economic pressure on working parents and household budgets, it is now more important than ever to ensure children do not start the school day hungry or thirsty.

"LACA fully endorses and shares the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) concerns about how a lack of breakfast can hinder a child’s ability to concentrate in lessons and for examinations.

"With studies having shown that children who eat better, do better, food provision in school is integral to the measures being taken to close the educational attainment gap, improve attendance and help children achieve their potential.

"Improving diet and lifestyle can help them make the most of their education which for many is the route out of poverty. We further welcome the work of the charity Magic Breakfast for providing 10,000 free breakfasts to schools in cities and towns across the country particularly this week."

The BBC story said: Extra deliveries of juice and porridge have been sent to primary schools in poor areas of England to help them do better in tests this week.

The free breakfasts are for children doing the Sats tests taken by all pupils in their final year of primary school in England.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) says too many pupils do not eat breakfast.

ATL's Mary Bousted says this affects their ability to concentrate.

"Hungry children can't focus," said the charity's founder, Carmel McConnell.

"These tests are quite demanding. A healthy breakfast will give them four hours of fuel. Without a proper breakfast they will simply be underperforming."

Cereal giant Kelloggs is also providing about 25,000 children, mostly in deprived areas, with a free school breakfast this week.

The company gives grants to help more than 1,000 schools in poorer areas run daily breakfast clubs each year.

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