23 January 2023

Ten years of free breakfasts for Blackpool pupils

Blackpool Council’s revolutionary scheme to give pupils the best start to their day has reached its ten year anniversary.

Children in classroom celebrating.
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In 2013, the council ran a free breakfast pilot aimed at improving opportunities for children in the town. Since then 30,000 primary school pupils have been able to enjoy a healthy start to the day.

Pupils at all Blackpool primary schools were offered a range of options for breakfast including fruit, yoghurt, toast, cereal bars as well as continuing to receive free milk at morning break time.

The scheme initially ran as pilot for three months before being extended - it is now in its tenth year.

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said

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“Head teachers told us that pupils were arriving lethargic and struggling to concentrate because they hadn’t eaten properly or even at all. We decided to take action and as a result we were the first local authority in the country to offer a free breakfast to every primary school child. “We wanted to ensure that every pupil had the opportunity to start the day right, there has been no difference between those families who can afford it and those who cannot. “As the cost of living crisis deepens it is more important than ever to make sure that our young residents are able to learn and thrive, it impossible for them to do this is they arrive at school hungry, unable to concentrate until lunchtime.”
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4 children eating breakfast.
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Karen Appleby, Head teacher at Kincraig Primary School, said:

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“It's vitally important for the children, as it is everyone, to have a breakfast. It sets them up for the day. Some children may not have eaten much since their lunch the previous day. “It helps the children to concentrate and keep their energy levels up until lunchtime. “It has also had an effect on our lates, which have reduced, as the children look forward to having their breakfast. “It's a lovely social time for the children and a good start to the day.”
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Child holding fruit in their arms.