The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published the results of a randomised controlled trial which found that pupils in primary schools who attend breakfast clubs before school benefit from an improvement in their reading, writing and maths. The results are based on the Magic Breakfast project jointly funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and the EEF.
The charity Magic Breakfast delivered breakfast clubs to 106 primary schools who have a higher than average proportion of disadvantaged pupils. An independent evaluation by researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that:
year 2 pupils attending breakfast clubs experienced an improvement in reading, writing and maths equivalent of two months’ progress over the course of a year
year 6 pupils experienced a slightly smaller positive impact from attending breakfast clubs
teachers recognised an improvement in pupil behaviour and concentration and this may indirectly improve the outcomes for children who do not attend breakfast clubs
Offering breakfast clubs is seen as a cost-effective way to raise pupil attainment. Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the EEF commenting on the provision of breakfast clubs stated that “offering free breakfasts at school is a relatively cheap and straightforward way of alleviating this symptom of disadvantage’’.
It is hoped that schools who wish to achieve a similar 2 months’ additional progress in pupils should endeavour to deliver breakfast clubs before school.
Click here for the Education Endowment Foundation press release.