A NEWLY established breakfast club is already having a positive impact on children at a North Yorkshire primary school.

As a result of a partnership between Broadacres and Greggs (through its Greggs Foundation), breakfast is being provided to children at Stokesley Primary Academy School who may, for whatever reason, miss out on what is considered to be the most important meal of the day.

Despite only being set up a few months ago, it is already proving successful, with the school reporting better attendance levels and an improvement in concentration levels.

One in seven children in the UK goes to school without any breakfast, even though research has found that pupils who have eaten breakfast are more punctual, concentrate better in class, and have more energy and enthusiasm, leading to improvements in learning and academic performance

Head-teacher Scott McFarlane explained: “It’s important for children to be well fed and hydrated before they start their school day because this helps their concentration.

“We’ve noticed a marked improvement in the attendance of children who use the breakfast club and this has a knock on effect of better behaviour and concentration levels.

“There’s also a nice social side to the club because as well as getting a good breakfast, it gives the children a chance to play and chat with their friends before the day starts.”

Children who attend the breakfast club are given a choice of cereal, along with toast, fruit, milk and water. All the bread is supplied by Greggs.

Finley Gallagher, aged 9, said: “I enjoy coming to breakfast club; there’s a good choice and we get the chance to play as well.”

As Broadacres is funding the club, it is initially open to around 50 children whose parents are tenants of the Association. They also need to be on free school meals to qualify.

However, with 51% of children at Stokesley Primary Academy School currently on free school needs, there’s a possibility that this could be extended to other children in the future.

Emily Thomas, Broadacres’ Community Involvement Manager, said: “We are pleased the breakfast club is going well. Along with Greggs Foundation, we support several clubs in the areas where we have homes and it’s always good to hear about the positive outcomes schools are having through them.”

Lynne Hindmarch, Breakfast Club Manager for the Greggs Foundation, said: “Through established partnerships with organisations like Broadacres, we’re delighted to currently support 518 breakfast clubs across the UK.

“It costs just 25p a day to provide a healthy, nutritious breakfast for one child, so breakfast should not be seen as a luxury, but a necessity.”