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School Breakfast Provision

Volume 690: debated on Monday 1 March 2021

It is important that pupils have access to a healthy breakfast meal to enhance their learning potential. That is why we are investing up to £38 million in the national school breakfast programme, which is providing breakfast meals in up to 2,450 schools in disadvantaged areas across the country.

I thank the Minister for her response, but unfortunately the Government’s current school breakfast programme only provides for 7% of schools that meet the Government’s deprivation criteria, and it ends in July. Pre-pandemic, up to 2 million children were starting their school day without a breakfast. My School Breakfast Bill would extend and scale up provision via funds from the soft drinks levy. Please can she ask the Chancellor to implement my Bill and get breakfast into the Budget?

I completely agree that a healthy and nutritious breakfast sets a child up for a learning day. We have extended our programme until July this year and we are considering options for breakfast provision beyond that date. We are engaging with the market to help develop those options, and we expect to be able to say more very soon.