Breakfast clubs boost reading and maths results for primary school pupils

4 November 2016

A randomised controlled trial involving 106 primary schools in England with higher than average numbers of disadvantaged pupils looked at the impact of running breakfast clubs in the schools. Over the course of an academic year parents of around 8,600 pupils were encouraged to send their child to free breakfast clubs before registration.

The provision of a breakfast club was found to lead to improvement in outcomes for Year 2 children equivalent to around two months’ progress when compared with schools running “business as usual”. For Year 6 children, the impact on assessments in reading and maths was positive but slightly smaller. However, for writing and English, Year 6 pupils in breakfast club schools experienced the equivalent of around two months’ progress compared to Year 6 children in the control schools. The evaluators also reported that pupils’ behaviour and concentration improved.

The study found that the numbers of children reporting that they ate breakfast did not increase significantly in the breakfast club schools. This suggests that it is attending the breakfast club, not just eating breakfast, which leads to academic improvements. This could be due to the greater nutritional benefits of the breakfast itself, or the social or educational benefits of the breakfast club environment.

Read the full report on the EEF website.

Posted on 4 November 2016
Posted in: Evidence