One in five schools in England offers no breakfast provision for disadvantaged pupils, with cost and staffing the most commonly cited barriers.

Furthermore, a new report estimates that as many as 2.7 million disadvantaged children and young people (74%) could be missing out on breakfast.

The report – entitled Hidden hunger – has been published by charity Magic Breakfast (2022) and warns of “a patchwork of provision with no coherent framework”.

The Department for Education’s current school breakfast programme offers a 100% subsidy for eligible schools in disadvantaged areas. Participating schools must have 40% or more pupils in bands A-F of the income deprivation affecting children index (DfE, 2022).

However, Magic Breakfast warns that while 3.7 million children and young people live in bands A to F, only 26% of these students are being reached with government-funded breakfasts – leaving 2.7 million facing a postcode lottery.

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