Pupils at Derwent Community School enjoy the daily crunch of Cornflakes and 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.

Today (Wednesday 11th January) they have been joined by special guest Derby City Councillor Sarah Russell, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, and Councillor Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council and Cabinet Member for Communities and City Centre Regeneration.

Councillor Russell, who set up the Scheme in autumn, last year, in partnership with local businesses, said it was a very proud moment to sit with the pupils and personally experience how the Scheme was benefitting them. She said:

My parents taught me that breakfast was the most important meal and should not be missed because it provides all the essential vitamins and minerals that young people need.

Unfortunately there are children from busy households or low-income families that go without breakfast and this is not good for them.

An absent breakfast can cause fatigue and detachment from socialising with peers and poor performance at school.”

The Free Schools’ Breakfast Club Scheme – Breakfast of Champions is a partnership with Derby City Council, Derby County Community Trust, His Church, and local entrepreneurs Kavita Oberoi and Mike Copestake.

Councillor Russell said she was grateful for the support from business leaders and charities whose donations and business links made the Scheme possible.

She said:

These children are tomorrow’s future and providing them with a healthy breakfast will certainly set them on the right track to a good academic career and strong job prospects.

We now have enough funding to provide our schools with breakfast until the end of their school term.

However, we want to keep the Scheme going and extend it to other schools but cannot do this without further support from our business community.”

Councillor Martin Rawson, said the Council would be liaising with business leaders to get them on board and help fund the Scheme. He added:

It is fantastic to be here and meet the pupils who are taking part in Free Breakfast Club Schools’ Scheme in my own ward of Derwent.

It has received very positive feedback from teachers and I hope – with the help of our city’s business community – we can launch the Scheme in other schools too.”

Mrs Julie Housden, Headteacher at Derwent Community School, St Mark’s Road, Derby, 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.”

Other schools taking part in the Scheme include: Bemrose School, Springfield Primary School, St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, Ashcroft Primary School, and Firs Estate School.

Businesses and individuals can donate to the Free Schools’ Breakfast Scheme by visiting the Just Giving page.

Published: Wednesday 11th January 2017