Breakfast club boost for pupils

Owton Manor Primary School pupils enjoying their breakfast as staff members (left to right) Liz Killeen (acting head), Ben Collinson (support assistant), Irene Vasey (teaching assistant) and Neil Nottingham (executive head) wait to have their breakfast.Picture by FRANK REID

Owton Manor Primary School pupils enjoying their breakfast as staff members (left to right) Liz Killeen (acting head), Ben Collinson (support assistant), Irene Vasey (teaching assistant) and Neil Nottingham (executive head) wait to have their breakfast.Picture by FRANK REID

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KIDS are getting a hearty start to the day after their school won backing from a charitable organisation.

Owton Manor Primary School used to run a paid-for breakfast club where parents were able to send their youngsters to school earlier than usual if they had to go to work and they could enjoy a good meal before their studies.

But after reports that some other children were coming to school feeling hungry after skipping breakfast, headteacher Elizabeth Killeen began to explore ways of expanding the scheme.

So she applied for funding to the Greggs Foundation, and was delighted to hear her school had met the criteria.

Mrs Killeen said: “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to secure funding for a free breakfast club from Greggs.

“Thirty-four children every day will have a free breakfast and there are activities for them like football once they’ve finished their food.

“Previously we only had seven pupils who had to pay so it was a very low take-up. Since Greggs said they would fund it there’s now 34 kids, and the number is sure to rise.”

The Foundation, which also provides breakfasts for the children at Stranton Primary School, said the Eskdale Road-based school ticked all the boxes, including having a high number of pupils receiving free school dinners.

So this week saw the start of the free morning meals which provided the kids with cereal, toast, fruit and juice between 8am-8.45am before classes start.

And the school’s breakfast club numbers have more than quadrupled with 34 kids now enjoying breakfasts at school, compared to just seven pupils when the meal had to be paid for.

Mrs Killeen said Greggs Foundation has not given a timescale for how long the funding will last, but expects it to be for at least three to four years.

“It’s brilliant news,” said Mrs Killeen.

“It will make a big difference to the children. Some children weren’t having breakfast and were tired and almost falling asleep, and others said they hadn’t had any breakfast because ‘my mam didn’t have anything in’.”