Why we chose to support Magic Breakfast
For those of you that haven’t had a look at the Magic Breakfast website, here’s a brief highlight of what they do.
“We (Magic Breakfast) ensure that no child in our partner schools is too hungry to learn by providing healthy breakfast food and support to help identify and reach those pupils at risk of hunger.”
“A hungry child cannot concentrate so could miss out on half a day of lessons every school day if not given anything nutritious to eat first thing.”
Magic Breakfast currently works with 480 Primary, Secondary and ASL/Special needs schools, plus referral units in England to make sure that at normal times, more than 48,000 children start their school day in the best possible way. In Scotland, they work with 39 schools, normally reaching well over 1800 children. Magic Breakfast is also researching need for their services in Northern Ireland and Wales.
As well as Magic breakfasts core charity operations, they are also, in partnership with Family Action, delivering the National Schools Breakfast Programme in England, funded by the Department of Education, based on the Magic Breakfast model of food provision. In January 2020 the Department of Education confirmed spending an additional £11.8million on the third year of the NSBP to support the project until March 2021. The long term plan is for the NSBP to become self funding. Up until March 2019 the NSBP had reached a recruitment target of 1775 schools. There had been nearly 4000 expressions of interest.
Magic Breakfast is campaigning for an end to hunger in the classroom through a permanent school breakfast scheme. They are also aware of the need for breakfast provision in the school holidays, and as part of the Covid 19 crisis response continue to offer breakfast to children, through partner schools, during school holidays, and have pledged to continue to do so for each school holiday from summer 2020 onwards.
We’re sure you’d agree that this is an impressive resume, founded by the equally impressive Carmel McConnell MBE. If anyone is in a position to implement a permanent school breakfast scheme, which we fully support, we believe it is Magic Breakfast. That is why we support them.
How to get Magic Breakfast support.
There is an application and eligibility check. In England, a school must have 35% or more pupils recorded as eligible for a Pupil Premium. In Scotland there is a similar eligibility criteria, but different measurement parameters. To be eligible for Pupil Premium includes all children who qualify for free school meals based on family circumstances. The child’s school is entitled to Pupil Premium if you receive on of the following benefits: income support; income based job seeker allowance; child tax credit only (with income unto £16,190) with no element of working tax credit; national asylum seeker support; guarantee element of state pension credit; employment and support allowance (income related); universal credit (income dependent).
How to get National Schools Breakfast Programme Support.
Schools are eligible for the programme if at least 50% of pupils fall within IDACI bands A-F (the most disadvantaged category in the governments Income Depravity Affecting Children Index) and there is no existing provision or provision has scope for improvement.
Understandably, both Magic Breakfast and the NSBP have eligibility criteria. This is so both organisations can make maximum impact for their money. You would too if you had a limited pot to draw from. Unfortunately, of course, this means that in generally more affluent areas, a child who is suffering the effects of poverty may currently go unnoticed.
There are 22,004 state schools in England. In Scotland there are over 5,000. Under 18’s make up about 20% of the UK population of 66 million, or roughly 13 million kids. EndChildPoverty.org.uk estimates 30% of children in the UK living in poverty. The Guardian reported that “levels of food insecurity in Britain are amongst the highest in Europe. UNICEF estimates that 2.5 million children now live in food insecure households. FoodFoundation.org.uk wrote an affordability report that highlights that 3.7 million children in the UK are likely to be unable to afford a healthy and balanced diet, as defined by the government EatWell guide. It also notes that the poorest households in the UK, those earning less than £15,860, would have to spend 42% of their disposable income to meet the dietary requirements outlined in the guide. The UK is the 7th richest country in the world.