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School breakfast clubs 'can benefit children and parents alike'

27/01/2017 Joanna

School breakfast clubs can make an appreciable difference in improving lives and outcomes for schoolchildren and their parents, according to a new study.

Cereal company Kellogg's recently conducted a survey of 2,003 working parents, indicating that 60 per cent considered breakfast clubs as being very important for their family's survival and daily routine, with 27 per cent of parents saying the removal of such clubs would mean at least one parent would be forced out of work.

Nearly 20 per cent of parents said they save more than £50 every week by sending their children to breakfast clubs, with the benefits of these schemes being felt by more affluent families as well as poorer households. One-quarter of top-level professionals say they rely on breakfast clubs to help them juggle childcare, while nearly one-third of public sector managers and office workers see them as essential to getting to work on time.

This comes after recent research indicated that eating breakfast improves educational attainment for children, underlining how important they can be to all members of the family.

Megan Jarvie, head of policy and public affairs at the Family and Childcare Trust, said: "Too many families are struggling to access childcare that meets their needs, but extended schools services like breakfast clubs can help fill the gaps when there is not enough out of school childcare available. They help boost outcomes for children from all backgrounds and support parents to work."

A study from the Education Endowment Foundation indicated that Year 2 students attending schools with breakfast club schemes made two additional months' progress in reading, writing and maths, with behaviour and concentration levels also improving. This, in turn, creates better classroom environments, meaning even pupils who did not attend the clubs themselves were able to benefit.

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