A third of kids go to school hungry - poll discovers

A recent poll has found that a third of primary school children go to school without having breakfast

A recent poll has found that a third of primary school children go to school without having breakfast - Credit: Gregg Brown/Archant/Charlotte Bond

A recent poll has revealed that a third of all primary school kids are going to school without eating breakfast, according to a study of 500 primary school teachers.

According to a poll commissioned by Arla and conducted by Perspectus Global last month, teachers say around 33% of their class go to school hungry as they have not yet eaten, with 78% of teachers saying they use their own money to buy the students food.

This could be due to a number of issues, including the cost of living crisis, and situations at home.

Headteacher Stephen Capper. The Beeches Community Primary School is openeing a new nursery and learn

Beeches Community Primary School headteacher Stephen Capper says it has been an issue for a long time - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Stephen Capper, headteacher at The Beeches Community Primary School in Whitton, Ipswich, said: "I think it has been a very long-standing issue about food and nutrition and families understanding the importance of a good breakfast.

"The cost of living as it is now, and the rise in the price of food, is a pretty big factor as to why this happens, but also I think the need for people to do more than one job, because that puts pressure on working parents, who may not always be there at the beginning of the day or be there for that long in the morning."

The school run a breakfast club which has between 25 to 30 students every morning, but also offers bagels and fruit to every student, whether they have had breakfast or not.

Mr Capper said: "They are all able to access food in their class so that we can ensure that children have eaten something because we know the importance of that.

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"Students in reception and nursery also have a sit-down breakfast every morning."

General secretary of the Association of School and College Leader, Geoff Barton

General secretary of the Association of School and College Leader, Geoff Barton - Credit: Gregg Brown

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, and former head of King Edward VI school in Bury St Edmunds, said: "Unfortunately it is the case that around one-third of children in the UK live in poverty.

"This impacts on their lives, including the fact many do not arrive at school having a healthy and nutritious breakfast.

"This issue affects concentration and their ability to learn.

"Many schools provide breakfasts for their pupils and there are schemes in place to help, and the government has also funded a two-year national school breakfast programme, targeted at schools in disadvantaged areas."