Schools are being forced to axe breakfast clubs – with the result that poorer pupils are turning up for lessons hungry and unable to concentrate.
A survey of more than 500 teachers revealed that some schools had stopped providing breakfasts as the squeeze on public spending begins to bite.
Next week delegates to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ annual conference will urge the Government to provide the extra cash to keep them going.
The ATL survey showed that almost half the teachers (45 per cent) believed pupils who attended breakfast clubs would otherwise not have any food before school.
In addition, almost a quarter (23 per cent) believed that parents were having to rely on breakfast clubs to feed their children because they were unemployed and short of cash. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) said pupils attended the breakfast club because their parent or carer had to go out to work early and needed to leave them in the care of the school.
Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL, said: “Getting a good nutritious start to the day has a huge impact on children’s ability to learn and concentrate at school.”