Food poverty is at an all time high with one in seven children going to school hungry, a new report reveals today. This is from the Mirror…
There are 820,000 children in classrooms across Britain who are forced to skip breakfast at least once a week as parents struggle to put food on the table.
According to the study, in the last year 28% of teachers have reported more children turning up for lessons without eating since the night before.
And the cost of missing the morning meal is estimated at £5.2 million a year in lost teaching hours as hungry pupils are unable to concentrate on vital studies like maths, science and English.
The research by cereal maker Kellogg’s found one child going to school hungry once a week for the duration of their primary school life, loses 8.4 weeks of learning time.
More than half of teachers say kids who sit exams while hungry don’t perform as well as those who have eaten breakfast and eight out of ten have found lack of food first thing affects focus and behaviour in the classroom.
Worringly, a quarter of teachers revealed children have fallen asleep in class through hunger.
Yet for almost a million children who go to school hungry at least once a week, breakfast is not an option.
Pete Mountstephen, chair of the National Primary Headteachers, said: “It’s a shocking fact that children in our classrooms across the country are missing out on critical learning time by not being fed in the morning.
“This shortfall could mean a child missing out on some of the essential basics taught at primary school to help their development before beginning their secondary education.”
…Experts say school breakfast clubs are one way of filling the food gap and seven out of ten teachers believe they have a positive impact on a child’s ability to learn.
Sue Kennedy, school business manager at Atherton St. George’s Church of England Primary School, Manchester launched a breakfast club eight years ago after one pupil arrived at school every day at 7am without having any breakfast.
She said: “This was just one pupil out of 250, and so I wondered how many more pupils had we got who came to school without having breakfast?
“When the breakfast club was launched we experienced a considerable improvement in raising attainment and a reduction in lateness and pupil absence.”
But Government cutbacks have hit breakfast clubs hard with one in eight forced to close.
…In a bid to help schools like Sue’s, Kellogg’s has launched its Help Give a Child a Breakfast campaign to feed two million school children in the country’s most deprived areas.
It will donate a morning meal to a child each time a breakfast club video on its www.giveachildabreakfast.co.uk page is shared, tweeted or liked, or special packs of cereal are bought from supermarkets.
Are you noticing a deterioration of performance through increased hunger in pupils? Has your/your child’s school had to cut back its breakfast club provision and if so what impact has that had? Do you have any issues with a breakfast cereal company possibly using this issue for publicity or do you think what they are doing deserves support? Please share in the comments or on twitter…
Don’t forget you can visit www.giveachildabreakfast.co.uk and Kellogg’s will donate a breakfast for every share, tweet or like