Free breakfast trial at two Ilkeston schools

Headteacher Simon Robinson and Cllr Kevin Gillott tuck into toast and cereals with Cotmanhay Junior pupils Thomas Eley-Kirk, 8, and Demi Louise Meakin, 7.
Headteacher Simon Robinson and Cllr Kevin Gillott tuck into toast and cereals with Cotmanhay Junior pupils Thomas Eley-Kirk, 8, and Demi Louise Meakin, 7.

Pupils at two Ilkeston schools are set to be served free breakfasts as part of a £200,000 pilot scheme across the county.

Cotmanhay Junior School and Kirk Hallam’s Dallimore Primary School have been chosen as they have some of the highest numbers of pupils entitled to free school meals in Derbyshire.

They and 23 other schools will be invited to apply for a share of between £180,000 and £200,000 from Derbyshire County Council to pay for food, staff and other resources at the early morning clubs, set to be trialled for four years.

Headteacher Simon Robinson said: “It’s reassuring for us to know that the children attending the breakfast club have a healthy, nutritious breakfast and they are ready to learn.

“One of our main aims is to teach social skills, manners and good citizenship. I also find it helps to improve attendance.”

Cllr Kevin Gillott, the county council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

“Research has shown that children who’ve had a nutritious breakfast have better concentration, more energy and behave better in class.

“We want all Derbyshire children to achieve their potential in school and this pilot will help us discover whether this is a cost-effective way to raise standards and invest in the future of our young people.”

A date for the pilot beginning has not yet been finalised.