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STIRLING COUNCIL; CHILDRENS SERVICES

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					                  Section 4




BREAKFAST CLUBS
                            STIRLING COUNCIL CHILDREN’S SERVICES

                                                   NUTRITION

                                                 Breakfast Clubs

1.    INTRODUCTION

      1.1       Breakfast Clubs were established to promote self-esteem, social skills, positive
                behaviour and healthy eating for the pupils in Stirling Council’s schools.

      1.2       The establishment of these clubs took into account the current research         into
                the benefits of providing breakfast for pupils and the effect it had on attainment.

      1.3       The clubs helped to promote cross sector working between Children’s Services,
                Catering Staff, Forth Valley Nutritionist, Dental Hygiene Staff and the schools.

      1.4       The first Breakfast Clubs were initiated to achieve the aims of Stirling Council to
                reduce deprivation and promote social inclusion.

      1.5       There are now Breakfast Clubs in the following schools:

                   Raploch Primary School
                   Thornhill Primary School
                   Cornton Primary School
                   St Mary’s RC Primary School, Kildean
                   Buchanan Primary School
                   Fallin Primary School
                   Deanston Primary School
                   Gargunnock Primary School
                   Kippen Primary School
                   Inversnaid Primary School
                   East Plean Primary School
                   Strathblane Primary School
                   Killin Primary School
                   Aberfoyle Primary School
                   Wallace High School
                   Stirling High School
                   McLaren High School
                   Cowie Primary School
                   St Margaret’s RC Primary School

                Two further schools would start Breakfast Clubs if the funding were available;

                   Bridge of Allan Primary School
                   Bannockburn Primary School




Stirling Council Children’s Services Nutrition
Section 4: Breakfast Clubs
Spring 2006
2.    AIMS

         The aims of a Breakfast Club are:

             To promote healthy eating
             To promote positive behaviour
             To reduce social deprivation
             To promote social inclusion


3.    COST OF BREAKFAST CLUBS

      3.1       The main concern with Breakfast Clubs is the cost of sustaining them over a
                long period of time.

      3.2       They have been supported financially by:

                   Tobacco money from the Forth Valley Health Board -£11,000 per year for 3
                    years up to 2004;
                   Supported study funding;
                   Children’s Community Partnership funding;
                   Action fund.

                These sources of funding are not secure for the future. The Breakfast Clubs, as
                they are non-profit making require a continuous input of funds.

      3.3       The costs incurred for the Breakfast Clubs are the staff costs. Each club
                employs a Support for Learning Assistant and I member of the catering staff.

                The number of hours worked each day is dependent on the number of children
                attending the Breakfast Club, but is usually one hour for each member of staff

                The costs of staff from April 2004 are;

                   SLA £8.45 per hour
                   Catering Staff £6.65 per hour

                This is approximately £3,000 per school year.

      3.4       The cost of the food is recovered through the price that the children pay for the
                breakfast. This is decided by the catering services and rises in line with
                inflation.


4.    ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION

      4.1       The running costs of Breakfast Clubs are the most serious issue for
                consideration. The present methods of funding them are not sustainable. It is
                recognised that using parents or volunteers could reduce cost of staffing the
                Breakfast Clubs, but the rationale for using staff is as follows;

                   Staff are more reliable than volunteers or parents;
                   Teaching staff are not involved in the running of the Breakfast Clubs, which
                    removes any workload issue and also provides a different environment for
                    the children.

Stirling Council Children’s Services Nutrition
Section 4: Breakfast Clubs
Spring 2006
      4.2       The children who are entitled to free school dinners, presently there is no
                mechanism for providing them with a free breakfast.

      4.3       The value of Breakfast Clubs as compared to the actual improvement that they
                bring to healthy living and improved attainment requires to be evaluated during
                2004/5 and compared to other research.

                Appendix 1 is a qualitative evaluation completed during session 2002/3.


5.    CONCLUSIONS

      5.1       Council procedures should be put in place to ensure that the Breakfast Clubs
                are;

                   Sustainable;
                   Manageable in number. Not all schools wish or need to have a Breakfast
                    Club;
                   Involve all sectors and agencies, and become an integral part of Children’s
                    Community Partnerships;
                   Food is provided at a fair price by catering services and is affordable for all
                    children;
                   Arrangements are put in place to enable children with free meal entitlement
                    to access free breakfast.

      5.2       There should be an agreement on the importance of Breakfast Clubs and
                finances provided at a strategic level. This could be all agencies e.g. health,
                education and others providing a proportion of the ongoing running costs.

      5.3       Breakfast Clubs would remain within Children’s Services as at present and run
                on Children’s Services Policy and Guidelines.

      5.4       Children’s Services would conduct an evaluation of the benefits of Breakfast
                Clubs against the aims as stated in the policy on Breakfast Clubs during 2004/5
                before any commitment by the council on providing resources for Breakfast
                Clubs is taken.

                Breakfast Clubs satisfy the needs of children and are beneficial to the ethos of
                the school, and, in some cases support community needs.

                However a council policy is necessary in order to sustain and allow for further
                development, although there should be flexibility to diversify and provide for the
                needs of individual schools and communities.


6.    Children’s Services Guidelines for Breakfast Clubs

             All Breakfast Clubs will be established according to authority guidelines and
              policy;
             The Breakfast Club will be monitored for cost effectiveness using the formula
              designed by the authority of cost per child;
             The cost of the breakfast will be consistent throughout the authority and based on
              the costings supplied by Catering Services;
             Schools should explore methods of contributing to the cost of Breakfast Clubs
              through a variety of means.

Stirling Council Children’s Services Nutrition
Section 4: Breakfast Clubs
Spring 2006
                                                                                  Appendix 1

                                  Evaluation of Breakfast Clubs 2002/3

                              Views of Staff and Young People Surveyed

An evaluation of Breakfast Clubs was conducted in December 2002 and January 2003.

Each club was visited and staff and children were interviewed informally about the Breakfast
Club.

Questionnaires were sent to Headteachers and children.

Staff Oral Responses

   There have been improvements for individual children;
   It has done its job;
   Gives them the opportunity to take part in games;
   The children chat away to each other happily;
   The same children come every day, usually the older children;
   It is a nice social event;
   There are no problems with the Breakfast Club;
   The children like to chat and talk about what they have been doing;
   We have some who come for safety and company;
   Would hate to lose it;
   Pricing a nightmare;
   A good meeting place for parents when P1 are starting school –integral to the life of the
    school;
   Fosters home/school links;
   Worth it for the few children that need it;
   Covers the children that need it.

Young People

   I like to meet and have a chat;
   The food is good;
   I come every day;
   It is a good place to come;
   It gives me time to eat my breakfast;
   I like toast and the juice;
   Sometimes I can’t come every day.




Stirling Council Children’s Services Nutrition
Section 4: Breakfast Clubs
Spring 2006
QUESTIONNAIRES

Staff Responses

How do you support the Breakfast Club financially?

        Excellence Fund and Supported Study;
        At present Thornhill does not financially support the Breakfast Club;
        Supported Study money;
        The Breakfast Club is mainly subsidised from New Community Schools funding;
        Children pay a reduced price for breakfast and staff paid from NCS;
        Our Breakfast Club is centrally funded and doesn’t come off our budget.

What do you perceive to be the advantages of the Breakfast Club for your school?

        Punctuality;
        Fewer children complaining of hunger before morning break;
        Raised attainment (one of many);
        A safe place for children prior to start of school day;
        A place for positive interaction between adults and children;
        A breakfast or drink if children have not had one;
        A good start to the day;
        Pupil more ready to learn at 9.am;
        Self esteem raised;
        Opportunities to chat “informally”;
        Warm, safe environment before school starts;
        Adequate meal before starting school;
        Time to support and complete homework if necessary;
        Those children who attend receive a good breakfast giving them an excellent
         start to the day. It is a pleasant, social occasion which the children enjoy. It
         provides a safe haven for children whose parents go off early to work;
        It creates a warm welcoming environment for all children in the mornings;
        Obviously it provides an opportunity for pupils to have a hot breakfast and drink,
         it aids social inclusion;
        Social time for PSD;
        Settled children before class;
        Improved punctuality;
        Healthy breakfast having food at all before school (for specific families).

What do you see as future issues?

        Continuing the current level of funding which allows us to offer breakfast free to
         those on FME;
        Staffing, purely cost effectiveness;
        Dietary implications –quality food;
        Remaining dynamic and responsive to the needs of pupils and community;
        Funding;
        Low numbers for uptake could result in club being considered unviable and those
         most in need would miss out;
        Funding of staff costs would be the main issue;
        Encouraging children to continue to use this facility;
        Sustainability;
        Keeping in mind the long term gains for children from this service so that it does
         not disappear.

Stirling Council Children’s Services Nutrition
Section 4: Breakfast Clubs
Spring 2006
Conclusions

   Staff saw the Breakfast Club as having being valuable in terms of young people’s safety
    and well being;
   On the whole they would like to see more pupils attending the Breakfast Club and
    recognised that it sometimes missed those children with the most need;
   The main concerns are those of funding and the cost of the breakfast for the most
    vulnerable;
   The other concern is that the Breakfast Club might close if it becomes unviable.




Stirling Council Children’s Services Nutrition
Section 4: Breakfast Clubs
Spring 2006
Responses to the Children’s Questionnaire

Why do you like the Breakfast Club?

        You get out of the cold;
        You get to have your breakfast with your pals;
        You can come to it when you don’t have breakfast at home;
        Because you have good food;
        Good price;
        Because the dinner ladies and Mrs Grant are friendly and make you feel at home
         they are really nice;
        I like it that you can go to school for your breakfast;
        I like the Breakfast Club because the dinner ladies are helpful;
        I like the Breakfast Club because you get breakfast when your mum’s not in;
        Because it is a laugh;
        Meet friends, lovely hot chocolate;
        Because I don’t have to rush to make breakfast at home;
        I like going I can talk to my friends;
        Because if you miss breakfast you have a second chance and it is cheap;
        Because it is more interesting than having it at home;
        Because you don’t need to worry about it in the morning;
        Because you do not need to get up early to have your breakfast;
        Because it has my favourite cereal;
        I like the choosing after breakfast;
        You are allowed to play afterwards;
        So I am not late for school;
        Because it is cheap and a good start to the day;
        It is an enjoyable sociable start to the day;
        You may start to feel hungry in the middle of class;
        Its fun;
        If there is no breakfast at home you can have it at the club;
        It is nice and warm and the staff are friendly;
        Because if it is a cold day you can come in for a nice cup of tea;
        The helpers are always cheery;
        Because my friends go;
        Because if I am early I go there.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

        It is good to come here
        It’s the best Breakfast Club
        Can we have kiwi fruit and fruit crunchy
        Can I please have fruit at the Breakfast Club, 2
        I would like porridge
        There should be marmalade as well as jam
        A hot roll
        More people should come, everybody should come
        Nice music
        Boiled eggs
        Better hot chocolate
        Milk shakes
        I would like it if there were different things on different days e.g. French food
        Not to shut it down

Stirling Council Children’s Services Nutrition
Section 4: Breakfast Clubs
Spring 2006
The young people’s responses were very positive, but there were issues, which were
recurring.

There were a substantial number of requests for items such as sausage in a roll and bacon.
The variety of food was also questioned. There were a number of requests for fruit as shown
above. Comments were made about the quality of the food, e.g. butter, and the hot
chocolate. There were requests for marmalade as well as jam to be available.

The young people perceived the Breakfast Club as part of the school with a social value in
terms of peer and adult inter-action. They suggested that the friendliness and warmth of the
staff was essential.

Conclusions

   The food needs to be of a high quality;
   Variety including the provision of fruit;
   The need for the continued emphasis on healthy eating within the school curriculum.

Breakfast Clubs on the whole provide safety, security and warmth that is recognised and
appreciated by the young people.

The provision of warmth, security and safety can not be measured in quantitative
terms.




Stirling Council Children’s Services Nutrition
Section 4: Breakfast Clubs
Spring 2006

				
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