Gransnet forums

News & politics

School breakfast clubs

(92 Posts)
thatbags Thu 13-Apr-17 17:14:42

Just been reading an article by Jenni Russell about the benefits to entire schools, not just those who attend, of breakfast clubs.

Link here.

tanith Thu 13-Apr-17 17:49:02

Although she has a breakfast at home my granddaughter leaves home a good 30 mins before she needs to just so she can go into for the free breakfast club and meet her friends and grab a Danish Pastry to scoff whilst catching up with pals..I think they are a great idea.

aggie Thu 13-Apr-17 17:55:55

our primary school charges for breakfast club , the GC go sometimes

gillybob Thu 13-Apr-17 17:59:04

Mine don't have one. Paid for or otherwise.

daphnedill Thu 13-Apr-17 19:23:04

Yes, they are a great idea. Many moons ago, I was involved with a group in the village where I lived in setting up an after-school club. We even received lottery funding for a new building. Eventually, the club was able to open a breakfast club too, which attracted about a third of the pupils. Some of them had working parents, but not all. The children just liked coming to the club, because they had breakfast and could catch up with their friends before school.The teachers liked it, because punctuality improved and children were in the right frame of mind to get started on schoolwork and parents liked it, because they knew their children were safe and they could get on with their commute. The poorest parents could claim child tax credits for the fees.

daphnedill Thu 13-Apr-17 19:29:41

The Institute of Fiscal Studies/Educational Endowment Foundation published research last year, showing that breakfast clubs are a a more effective use of funds than free school meals, which is why I'm not in favour of universal free school meals. Many schools use pupil premium funding to set up breakfast clubs. The pupils who receive PP have free places and the others have to pay, but it's the pupil premium funding which finances the initial set up costs.

Jalima1108 Thu 13-Apr-17 19:37:40

I suppose we could just put them into school at 4 and take them out again at 18, fed, nurtured and educated by the State.

Sounds like a brilliant idea to me.

Deedaa Thu 13-Apr-17 20:05:55

Dotheboys Hall all over again Jalima It sounds as if some children don't really have any home life at all if you factor in all the after school activities as well.

Jalima1108 Thu 13-Apr-17 20:20:25

I wonder how many of them have mothers who are trying to hold it all together, alone, working and bringing up the children. The children will need the breakfast club, the after school club and the school dinners. Some of these children don't get fed much at all in the school holidays. sad

daphnedill Thu 13-Apr-17 20:55:37

I agree with you (almost) Jalima. I used the breakfast and after school clubs for my children. I certainly was trying to "hold it together" - as were many of the other parents. Many of them weren't poor and most of them weren't even JAMs, but they probably wouldn't have been JAMs or holding it together, if they hadn't been able to work - they'd have been poor. My children (and all the others,as far as I know) weren't short of food.

I think people make inaccurate assumptions when they think that children who use breakfast and after school clubs are destitute or that parents who don't stay at home 24/7 to look after their children are failing their children. Children often prefer to be with their friends than with their (often stressed) parents.

I think the idea that parents should do it all is a throwback to the days when most mothers did stay at home or only work part-time.

daphnedill Thu 13-Apr-17 20:59:57

Just seen your previous post Jalima. My children were in full-time nursery from the age of 6 months, so you could start even earlier. hmm

They would laugh,if you suggested that their childhood was like Dothebys Hall. They loved nursery and the school clubs. It was much less boring than being with tired and stressed Mum, who always had things to do. As a teacher, it worked well, because I obviously had school holidays, but even then they missed their friends.

Deedaa Fri 14-Apr-17 22:05:45

I don't think parents should stay at home 24/7 but I do think that some children hardly seem to have any family life at all.

Morgana Sat 15-Apr-17 01:57:13

Generally in my teaching experience children who came to breakfast club were better able to concentrate on their lessons all morning. Rather than flagging half way through.

mostlyharmless Sat 15-Apr-17 08:19:01

My grandchildren in Wales are able to go to breakfast Club free. All primary schools run free breakfast clubs in Wales. I t
The school where I taught couldn't make it work financially despite lots of effort. Too few paying customers meant it wasn't viable.

mostlyharmless Sat 15-Apr-17 08:22:47

I think it's a brilliant idea. It's obviously used by most parents as free childcare, but it's a good morning start for those children who don't have healthy breakfasts at home.

mostlyharmless Sat 15-Apr-17 09:28:08

But no free lunches for infants in Wales..

Jalima1108 Sat 15-Apr-17 10:05:26

daphnedill I didn't say it was like Dotheby's Hall!

Jalima1108 Sat 15-Apr-17 10:06:06

ps I said it sounds like a brilliant idea grin

Jalima1108 Sat 15-Apr-17 10:09:54

pps My DGD go to breakfast club sometimes too

It is just a contrast to school in Australia where my other DGC are - no breakfast club even though they have to start out at the crack of dawn as you can imagine, no fruit at snack-time, no school lunches, BYO.

daphnedill Sat 15-Apr-17 13:15:20

Jalima It was the post before yours.

daphnedill Sat 15-Apr-17 13:22:24

mostlyharmless Was that before pupil premium was introduced? Breakfast clubs are a legitimate use for pupil premium money, which can be used to fund those, whose parents are on a low income. When I was involved with running a breakfast club (as a parent), it was before pupil premium, but we were supported quite generously by Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose.

Jalima1108 Sat 15-Apr-17 14:07:12

Oh! I thought because you used my name the post was addressed to me confused

I think Kelloggs supports breakfast clubs as well (not with Cocoa Pops I hope!)
Although they would be better than nothing.

mostlyharmless Sat 15-Apr-17 15:28:09

daphnedill yes it was just before pupil premium was introduced, but from a quick look at the school website there's still no mention of a breakfast club. I know, at the time, there were at least three staff employed to run it and fewer than eight children attended.

daphnedill Sat 15-Apr-17 16:21:21

Staffing is an issue with breakfast and after school clubs. We were a charity, totally independent from the school. We had a lottery-funded purpose built building, which we shared with the local playgroup, although we didn't have anything to do with the group either. The building was on land leased from the school, so we had to pay rent and maintenance.

Finding staff, who were prepared to work an hour and a half before school and/or three hours after school was difficult. At least one of the staff had to have Level 3 childcare qualifications. We were registered for 24 children and usually had a waiting list. Admin was done by the committee (including me) on a voluntary basis.

Funding was always tight and, even with that number of children, we struggled and I don't think we could have survived without the support from the supermarkets and endless raffles, tombolas, fetes and begging.

daphnedill Sat 15-Apr-17 16:25:05

PS. We didn't aim to give starving children breakfast, but to provide a service for working parents. There were some children from low income families. We charged the full amount, but they were able to claim child/working tax credits. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the recent changes to the tax credit thresholds would mean that they are now eligible.