Breakfast clubs

Breakfast clubs can be an important way of supporting a whole school focus on healthy lifestyles.

Breakfast clubs

Breakfast clubs can be an important way of supporting a whole school focus on healthy lifestyles. Breakfast clubs allow children to have a healthy breakfast in a safe and secure environment before school and can be particularly essential for families who do not have the resources or the time to provide breakfast for their children. They are able to offer children a social environment to have breakfast with their peers. The food provided in breakfast clubs is still expected to follow the healthy food policies which schools follow throughout the day.

Some clubs also offer a range of activities and games or opportunities to work on school work. Most breakfast clubs are open to all pupils at the school, although staff may target particular groups (for instance those with low school attendance or who teachers feel are not being provided food at home). According to research (1), 85% of UK schools currently have a Breakfast Club; this was slightly higher in Wales and slightly lower in Scotland. The average attendance at a UK breakfast club is 35 pupils.

The cost of breakfast clubs vary; some charge a nominal amount per breakfast and some are funded by the school or local or national government schemes. Over half (55%) of UK Breakfast Clubs are self-supporting with 26% supported by the school budget and 5.7% by local or national government schemes. The proportion of breakfast clubs in Wales funded by the Government is far higher (71%). 45% of schools said that funding was the single biggest need for the future of their Breakfast Club. More than half of breakfast clubs in the UK are run by teaching assistants or by catering staff (1).

The National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP) is funded by the Department for Education and delivered by Family Action to support schools in England to provide children with a healthy breakfast at the start of the school day. The programme will run from July 2021 to July 2023, providing schools with up to 2 years of support to run a successful and affordable school breakfast provision. The offer is available to all schools that have 40% or more children in IDACI bands A-F.

Magic Breakfast works with over 1,000 Primary, Secondary and ASL/Special Educational Needs schools, plus Pupil Referral Units, offering breakfasts to over 200,000 children each school day.  Their partner schools are in most counties in England. In Scotland they work with 38 schools. For a school in England to be eligible, at least 35% of pupils should be recorded as eligible for Pupil Premium. A Primary School in Scotland qualifies for Magic Breakfast support when at least 55% of pupils are in SIMD Deciles 1 to 4 and/or at least 35% are eligible for FSM. A Secondary School qualifies for support when at least 40% of pupils are in SIMD Deciles 1 to 4.

There are also breakfast clubs run by: Greggs, who provide 680 schools on their scheme with fresh bread and a grant to support start-up and ongoing costs; Kellogg’s, who offer e-newsletters which feature competitions, activities and practical ideas for running an effective Breakfast Club along with a grant for more disadvantaged schools, and you can also apply product donations from Warburtons to help with Breakfast Clubs.

Throughout the UK there are various schemes in place to aid the planning and running of a breakfast club:


Northern Ireland



 References and useful links


Reviewed and updated 28.01.22

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