A pioneering project, set up by the Labour-led City Council to help feed Derby’s school children, is going from strength to strength.
With one in five children going to school hungry, action was badly needed to ensure Derby’s kids get the best possible start to the day.
Pupils at Derwent Community School now enjoy the daily crunch of Cornflakes and the playful snap, crackle and pop of Rice Krispies as part of Derby City Council’s Free Schools’ Breakfast Club Scheme, which aims to boost academic performance.
The Free Schools’ Breakfast Club Scheme – Breakfast of Champions is a partnership with Derby City Council, Derby County Football Community Trust, local entrepreneurs and business leaders. The pilot project, which now includes Derwent Community School, is being run in several schools across the city and the hope is that it can be extended to every city school. The various partners have donated funds to kick-start the unique project and support further fundraising activities to keep it going.
Labour Councillor Sarah Russell, Cabinet member for education and skills, said:
I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our partners in supporting this project to get off the ground. It’s a scandal that so many of our children go to school hungry and we want to change that. Families are really struggling to make ends meet and many find it difficult to put food on the table. We want to help with that. We know that ensuring children get a decent breakfast at the start of the day helps them concentrate, learn and get the most out of their education.
Commenting on the initiative, Nadine Peatfield, Labour’s candidate in the forthcoming Derwent Ward by-election said:
The Breakfast Club pilot has been a fantastic success at Derwent Community School and, if elected as Derwent Councillor, one of my first actions will be to work with the City Council in bringing Breakfast Clubs to Breadsall Hilltop Primary and Roe Farm Primary schools.
Mrs Julie Housden, Headteacher at Derwent Community School, said:
We are very pleased to be included in the Free Schools’ Breakfast Club Scheme. We have about 20 pupils who regularly attend our Breakfast Club and they have really benefitted.
Our pupils are happier, brighter and have much more energy thanks to eating a nutritious breakfast. It ensures that they don’t miss out on a meal which provides them with the brain fuel they need to get them through their lessons until dinner time. The Breakfast Club is also an opportunity for pupils sit together and spend the equivalent of family time with one another. Thank you Derby City Council and partners for including us in the Scheme.