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Professionals call for free school breakfasts

Doctors and head teachers are calling on the government in England to look at providing free breakfasts to children on free school meals.

Free school breakfasts could help tackle health problems

Doctors and head teachers are calling on the government in England to look at providing free breakfasts to children on free school meals.

They say such a move would help tackle health problems linked with poverty and boost academic achievement. The call comes from the Royal College of GPs, the National Association of Head Teachers and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The three associations are calling on ministers to look at the feasibility of providing free breakfasts for pupils from poor families. The Royal College of GPs says ensuring children have breakfast could help combat diseases related to poor diet in childhood such as anaemia and stunted growth.

Many primary schools run breakfast clubs where children can go from 0800 or even 0700, but usually for a fee, while many secondary schools open their canteens in the morning so children can buy food.

Through the charity the Mayor's Fund for London, free breakfasts are going to be provided at 50 schools in some of the capital's poorest areas. The charity Magic Breakfast runs pre-school clubs in schools where at least half of pupils qualify for free school meals. It says demand has been growing.

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What should Clegg's pledge to give councils £100m to help with childcare actually be spent on?
Improved facilities
44%
Training
18%
Free childcare
31%
Educational materials
7%
Total votes: 182