National School Breakfast Programme

FAMB were awarded the £24million Department for Education contract to deliver the National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP). The NSBP willsupport 1,775 schools to start, or improve existing, breakfast provision. The aim is to ensure that more disadvantaged pupils, across both primary and secondary schools, have access to a free and nutritious breakfast. EEF are funding the evaluation of the project.

Why are we funding it?

A previous EEF impact evaluation showed that offering pupils in primary schools a free and nutritious meal before school can boost their reading, writing, and maths results by an average of two months’ additional progress in Key Stage 1, this result had low to moderate security. Interestingly, it appears that it was not whether more pupils ate breakfast at all that made the difference, but whether more were going to the school breakfast club. It may be that school breakfasts are more nutritious than what pupils would otherwise have, or that attending the club effectively prepares pupils for learning. Breakfast club schools also saw an improvement in pupil behaviour. 

How are we evaluating it?

The delivery of breakfast clubs to the 1,775 schools will be evaluated through a mixed-methods implementation and process evaluation. This evaluation will provide an ongoing evaluation of the fidelity to the original design, supporting FAMB to ensure that fidelity remains high throughout; an understanding of barriers to and facilitators of successful delivery; and an evaluation of the cost of the programme, including understanding potential future models for meeting this cost.

There was also originally an innovation project planned as part of this work. The innovation project would have looked at how to improve parental engagement, and therefore attendance and would have been delivered in three phases: a phase to generate innovation ideas, which would involve FAMB and schools; two pilot phases to look at the impacts of selected innovation ideas in a sub-set of schools, and a final phase to assess learning and make recommendations about which innovations should be incorporated into the main programme. The first phase of this workwas completed and the learnings from this can be found in the published Explore Report. A combination of the exploratory research findings and difficulties in recruiting schools to participate in the two pilot phases meant that a decision was made not to continue with the rest of the innovation project. A description of the high-level journey of the NSBP innovation project and lessons learned from the work for future innovation pilots can be found in the Lessons Learned report

When will the evaluation report be due?

The scale-up evaluation report will be published in Summer 2021.