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Research demonstrates how much breakfast clubs are relied upon

New research reveals how many families now rely on breakfast clubs for childcare to enable them to carry on working, and how much money such services can save parents.

  • 23% of working households use breakfast clubs.
  • 10% of families have had to negotiate different working hours
  • 3% of families have had to put work on hold
  • Parents can save £1373 per year using breakfast clubs rather than other childcare
  • Childcare costs have risen by 77% over the last ten years.

The study found that 83% of parents on lower incomes said breakfast clubs save them money and if they had access to a free club then 55% would use it regularly. 1 in 4 lower-earning families also admitted they alternative could be leaving their children unsupervised.

In addition 1 in 10 parents admitted that without a breakfast club their child would be less likely to eat in a morning. Kellogg's, which carried out the research, is offering grants to 1000 schools in some of the country's most deprived areas to set up, or carry on running, a breakfast club.

Parents tell researchers they would have to quit work without breakfast clubs

A quarter of working parents say they would have to give up their job if their child's school didn't offer a breakfast club before lessons starts. Researchers say the clubs are saving families hundreds of pounds a year in alternative childcare costs. In Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire:

  • 1 in 8 parents say their child's school does not offer a breakfast club.
  • 1 in 10 parents have had to work more flexible hours because of a lack of a breakfast club with 7% taking a pay cut and reducing their hours.
  • 2 in 5 teachers say they have seen children arriving at school hungry each day.

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Wakefield students come up smelling of roses

Red silk roses
Red silk roses Credit: ITV Yorkshire

A group of West Yorkshire schoolchildren will today participate in the UK's first ever enterprise relay.

The Tenner Relay will see a £10 note travel the length of the country, challenging school children along the way to turn it into more money by doing something creative and enterprising.

The relay marks the launch of this year's Tenner Challenge, Britain's biggest nationwide enterprise competition for young people, which will see over 250,000 school pupils across the UK competing to turn their £10 into a larger sum of money over a period of a month.

The children of Freeston Academy in Wakefield will contribute to the relay by setting up a Valentine's gift business.

The team spent their £10 on silk roses and sweets which students can pre-order as gifts for each other. The Valentines presents will be delivered by the team on February 14.

NUT: Children not an inconvenience

The National Union of Teachers have responded to Government plans to increase school days and reduce holidays:

Children and young people deserve a childhood and contrary to the suggestion that this will please parents, the majority will not support this idea at all. Children are not an inconvenience to fit in around work. Equally, education should not be viewed as a production line...

...Teachers already work some of the longest hours of any profession with many putting in 50 to 60 hours a week. There needs to be a balance to ensure that both teachers and pupils have time to re-charge their batteries.

– Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers

Government consider longer school days and shorter holidays

Children could face being at school for nine hours a day and see their much-loved holidays cut drastically under radical plans reportedly being examined by the Conservatives.

Kids could spend more time in the classroom Credit: Press Association

The proposals, drawn up by David Cameron's former policy chief Paul Kirby, would see school days extended to run from about 9am until 6pm, from the current hours of around 8.30am to 3.10pm.

Holidays would also be reduced from 13 weeks to seven.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "We are already giving all schools the freedom to set the length of the school day and term. Many academies and free schools offer extended opening hours, and we want more schools to take up these freedoms.

"We will obviously consider recommendations for further reforms."

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