Vulnerable children in some of the UK’s most deprived areas will continue to receive free breakfasts at school after the Government extended funding for the scheme for another two years.
The £24 million will keep the national school breakfast programme, which began as a pilot in 2018 but was due to end this summer, running in England until 2023. Current providers Magic Breakfast and Family Action have so far supported almost 2,500 schools across the country through the programme, and hundreds of thousands of children.
But Labour’s shadow education secretary, Kate Green, described the new funding as “pitiful” and accused the Conservative Government of a lack of ambition when it comes to helping children through the pandemic.
She said: “This is a pitiful response to Labour’s call for a universal breakfast club offer for every child. This funding is likely to provide breakfast club support to just four per cent of children which is simply not good enough.”
Green repeated Labour’s calls for more breakfast clubs for children “to recover the learning and social development they have lost during the pandemic.”
“From providing a measly 43p per child per day for educational catch-up to offering no additional funding for schools in the Budget, the Conservatives have shown they are simply not ambitious about children’s recovery from this pandemic,” she added.