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Project information

Ending classroom hunger through school breakfasts

Magic Breakfast provides healthy, nutritious breakfasts to 470 UK schools where children are too hungry to learn. We have a waiting list of over 300 schools. With help from Big Give we could reach 13 new schools, feed an extra 871 hungry children each day and provide 169,845 breakfasts in a year.

January 2017 - August 2018

Charity information: Magic Breakfast

Magic Breakfast logo
  • Need


    The Independent School Food Plan estimates that each day 500,000 children in the UK arrive at school too hungry or malnourished to learn. A hungry child cannot concentrate and is more likely to be restless, unhappy, lethargic, distracted or disruptive in lessons. Teachers tell us that the most important lessons are taught in the morning so pupils will miss out on 4 hours of learning every day if given nothing to eat first thing.


    Our collaboration with the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Education Endowment Foundation (Nov ’16) demonstrated that a Magic Breakfast in the morning can lead to 2 months’ progress in academic attainment for an otherwise hungry child. £6,000 per academic year can provide healthy, nutritious breakfasts to an average of 67 children every school day, plus expert support to enable partner schools to target the most vulnerable children and end child hunger as a barrier to learning for good.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide healthy, nutritious breakfasts to children in 13 Magic Breakfast waiting list schools.


    » Magic Breakfast School Partnership Manager to visit the school to assess the need, agree on ways of working and commence food deliveries.

    What success will look like

    Schools on our waiting list have 35%+ students eligible for Free School Meals. We will develop a range of healthy breakfast provision options to ensure all children are reached.

    Aim 2

    To support the school community to embed school breakfast as part of the school day.


    » To develop a shared school /Magic Breakfast plan to end child hunger in each school, based on our existing programmes in 470 schools.

    What success will look like

    The Magic Breakfast model will be helping our partner schools overcome barriers to reaching every child at the risk of hunger e.g. providing food in the classroom or playground.

    Aim 3

    To improve attainment, punctuality, behaviour and readiness to learn for over 870 pupils.


    » To send out annual surveys to measure perceived impacts to all breakfast club coordinators/headteachers of partner schools.

    What success will look like

    Improved numbers in all perceived outcomes in every school we will work in, plus sharing of best practice with new schools through our regular regional events.

    Aim 4

    To use the 13 new Big Give supported schools to make the case for wider school breakfast support.


    » To create a media plan with school based events to gain press coverage.

    What success will look like

    The publication of positive school breakfast stories in local press and other media, including social media, raising the profile of Big Give in the process.

  • Impact


    The most important long term impacts will be improved child health and academic attainment. Our research with the IFS and EEF proved that nutritious breakfasts can improve primary school pupils’ academic attainment by the equivalent of two months’ progress during one academic year. Through our annual measuring and evaluation surveys teachers will report on pupil punctuality, concentration and more. In addition, social mobility is improved and costs of obesity and dentistry bills are moderated.


    Key risks we have identified include:
    - Lack of school support for the most effective breakfast provision to reach every hungry child
    - Lack of school finances to ensure best support for breakfast clubs. 
    We have developed successful school interventions across 470 partners, so we deal with these risks by sharing successful outcomes in other schools. For example, helping schools end daily loss of teaching time because teachers have to take time out to offer food to hungry children.


    Our annual surveys are our main, robust measuring and monitoring tools through which teachers report back on perceived impacts such as punctuality, attainment and behaviour. We will report back to donors at child and school level to show how their support makes a measurable difference.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £80,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £68,000 School breakfast provision Setting up Magic Breakfast support in 13 waiting list schools
      £12,000 Making the case for change Press, pr and events to highlight the issue and solution with Big Give support
  • Background


    The project will be for schools in London, where at the moment 68 schools have asked for our support.  This will be drawn from a waiting list that includes primary, secondary, SEN and Pupil Referral Units. The goal is to develop a geographically close knit group of schools to ensure maximum school peer to peer learning. 


    An average of 67 children in each Big Give supported school will receive a healthy Magic Breakfast every school day. In addition to ensuring an additional 871 children are given a nutritious breakfast, parents will benefit from extra food support as well as a better opportunity to access work and study, being able to drop their children at school earlier. The whole school community will benefit from improved child attendance, punctuality, concentration and behaviour.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Magic Breakfast is the leading school breakfast provider with a track record of 15 years. In 2015 Magic Breakfast was chosen by Government to lead its first ever school breakfast project, in 184 new schools, after winning a public tender. We have evidence that our model works: The randomised controlled trial we carried out with the EEF and IFS in 106 partner schools found that nutritious breakfasts can boost pupils’ academic attainment by the equivalent of 2 months over a course of a year.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Carmel Mc Connell

    As founder and CEO, Carmel will ensure schools are given support and donors kept regularly informed about progress.

    Rachael Anderson

    Rachael heads up our School Partnership Team, education professionals with experience of delivering the Magic Breakfast programme nationally.

    Tom Halliley

    Tom will lead on our donor reporting as our key account manager. Tom will manage the end to end process of donor support and reporting. 

    Alex Cunningham

    Alex is the General Manager and keeps an overview of our operations, finance, data and supply chain

A recent study by Cardiff University established a positive link between a good breakfast and pupil attainment. It found that the chance of achieving an above-average educational performance was up to twice as high for pupils who have a healthy breakfast.