At TEDx London I was introduced to a charity called Magic Breakfast. They provide breakfast for schools with more than 50% free school meals.
Why is this so important?
- 3.9 million children live in income poverty in the UK (defined60% below the average income)
- 1 in 4 children have one hot meal a day their school lunch, according to research by Child Poverty Action Group
- 32% of schoolchildren regularly miss breakfast.
I should imagine it is fairly commonplace for children to skip breakfast whatever socio-economic background you are from. I am also sure that many of us adults skip breakfast. Did you know that hungry children are not set up for learning. They are more likely to be restless, unhappy, distracted, lethargic or disruptive. Feedback from schools offering Magic Breakfast Clubs suggests that children who attend are more punctual, better behaved and obtain higher results.
I have been involved in providing guidance on behaviour management for many years. Something struck me, in all those years I don’t think I have ever asked, ‘Are they hungry?’ I recognise in my own children how hunger or tiredness effect their behaviour but I have never thought about it in a classroom.
I work with under 5’s, many of whom wouldn’t be able to tell you that they hadn’t had breakfast. Many nurseries and pre-schools provide a breakfast but certainly not all. It might be worth considering.