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School Breakfast Clubs (European Aid)

Volume 589: debated on Thursday 18 December 2014

The Government plan to use the UK share of the fund for European aid to the most deprived to provide additional support for school breakfast clubs in England. Under the plans, which will be led by the Department for Education, this money would be allocated to schools with particularly high rates of disadvantage, as measured by free school meal eligibility.

We believe that breakfast clubs effectively target help to many of the most deprived children—providing nutritious meals in some of the poorest areas, supporting academic attainment, promoting healthy eating habits at a young age and saving families money. This funding would be in addition to existing support provided by the Government—we have already committed just over £1 million over two years to support an expansion of breakfast clubs in poor areas.

The UK’s allocation is worth €3.96 million (or £3.1 million) over seven years from 2014 to 2020, and can be used to deliver one or more of the following: food aid for the most deprived people; consumer goods for homeless people; consumer goods for children; and non-labour market social inclusion activities for the most deprived. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland decided not to participate, due to the small sums involved and the administrative effort required. The allocation has been deducted from the UK’s structural fund allocation—European social fund and European regional development fund.

This use of the fund for European aid to the most deprived is subject to final agreement with the European Commission, and will be managed in accordance with the fund’s stringent eligibility, accounting and evidence requirements.

A copy of the draft operational programme can be found online at: writtenstatements.