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Philip Evans


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HONITON: Success for breakfast scheme

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A new free school meals initiative recently introduced at Honiton Community College is helping to get students switched on ahead of the school day. The college currently provides a free lunchtime meal for disadvantaged pupils, and school bosses are now offering students an early-morning breakfast service to help get their brains in gear. Around one in five of the college’s students are eligible for a free breakfast, and canteen staff have been making an early start to serve up cereal, toast and jacket potatoes for pupils. And teachers say they are already seeing the benefits of a healthy breakfast in the classroom, with students arriving for lessons more alert and ready to learn. Vice Principal Andy Holt, who has led the introduction of the scheme, said: “There is a wealth of research that demonstrates how important a good breakfast can be and, even in the short time we have been up and running with the scheme, we have already seen the positive signs in the classroom. “Teachers have reported an improved level of engagement among students in lessons first thing in the morning.” The college has previously run exam breakfasts to give students a boost ahead of their GCSE and A Level tests, but this latest initiative is designed to make a good breakfast part of pupils’ everyday routine. And Mr Holt said the college was “breaking new ground” to deliver a double-header of free meals. He added: “Other schools are trying out different ideas but the breakfast club scheme is definitely one we are taking a lead on. “We are now looking to increase the number of students who take up the opportunity of a free breakfast and also to encourage all our pupils to make an early start and see what is on offer.”

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