As school budgets are being cut by education authorities, an increasing number of primary schools are finding it harder to keep running their breakfast clubs, which could lead to the danger of vulnerable children going hungry.
Labour MP Sharon Hodgon, shadow minister for children and families, has made freedom of information requests to 128 local authorities. The responses show a 40% decrease in the number of breakfast clubs available to children.
Breakfast clubs often provide much needed breakfast for children who have had nothing at home and the food gives them much needed energy to be able to concentrate during their school lessons.
The cuts do not affect the number of children who remain entitled to free school meals which, without the breakfast club, can be the only good meal of their day.
A spokesman for the Department of Education did acknowledge the importance of the breakfast club service by recognising that they can “improve children’s attendance, concentration, motivation” as well as promoting healthy eating habits.