Education Survey Shows School Pupils Denied Breakfast

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20th September 2013 12:26 - Education

A recent study commissioned by Kellogg’s, entitled Lost Education, shows a quarter (26%) of state school teachers in England and Wales have seen an increase in the last twelve months of children turning up in class hungry having had no breakfast.

Findings claim that on average 2.4 pupils in each class turn up for school at least once a week without having had breakfast, so are unable to concentrate. This puts increased demand on teachers’ time.

Primary and secondary teachers report that if children arrive at school hungry they will typically lose one hour of learning time that day due to loss of concentration. If a child arrives at school hungry once a week over a school year that would add up to thirty hours of learning time – rising to over 8.4 weeks, or seven tenths (70%) of one school term for pupils aged five to eleven over their entire school life.

Research also suggests that hungry children are more lethargic and find it difficult to learn, and a quarter (26%) of teachers have reported seeing children fall asleep in the classroom through lack of food or drink.

Over half (55%) of teachers believe that the presence of hungry children in the classroom has a negative impact on the learning of their peers, creating a lost education for many pupils across the UK.

Furthermore, a separate YouGov survey of 2,000 parents shows: a tenth (12%) do not offer their children breakfast because they don’t have time; two fifths (38%) say their children shun breakfast, while half (52%) admit they don’t have as much money to spend on food compared to last year.

Pete Mountstephen, Chairman of the National Primary Headteachers Association, said:

“It's a shocking fact that children in our classrooms across the country are missing out on the very foundations of their education by not being fed in the morning.”

While Paul Wheeler, a Kellogg's Director, reported:

“We have become more and more concerned about the effect that the vital lack of brain fuel, in the morning, is having.”

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