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Teachers report children turning up to school hungry

16/10/2012 Joanna
Four out of five (79 per cent) teachers have reported that children in their classes are coming to school hungry.

The research conducted by Kellogg's, the international cereal manufacturer, also found that this is a growing problem - with 54 per cent of those surveyed reporting that the issue has got worse in the past year.

Those in teaching jobs will fully appreciate the role that food plays in boosting a child's attainment and as a result, many teachers have been taking it upon themselves to deal with the problem.

Almost a third (31 per cent) of those questioned admitted to bringing in food for pupils who have missed out on breakfast - with one in twelve spending between £16 and £25 a month on fruit and cereal bars.

According to the School Food Trust, children arriving hungry at school are more likely to show signs of "tiredness, lack of concentration and poor behaviour or learning" by mid-morning.

During a study of 13 primary schools located in some of the most deprived areas of London, it found that average Key Stage 2 results rose by 0.72 points in the year after the introduction of breakfast clubs.

These provide children with somewhere to go before school starts where they can sit with other pupils in a supervised environment and eat a healthy breakfast.

However, in the last 12 months, 40 per cent of breakfast clubs in English schools have stopped operating.

"Breakfast clubs can provide a lifeline for [struggling] families, so we're extremely concerned to hear that many are being forced to close," commented Karin Woodley, chief executive of the education charity ContinYou on behalf of Kellogg's.

In response, the firm is launching 'Help give a child a breakfast'; a campaign to raise £300,000, which will help schools keep their most needy kids nourished.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801470381-ADNFCR
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