Must food provided at breakfast clubs meet the school food standards?
All maintained schools and most academies are required to abide by the school food standards, as set out in the Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014.
Schedules 2 and 3 of the regulations set out requirements for the food served during school lunches. Schedules 3 and 4 set out the standards for food and drink other than lunch that is provided by the school, including food served at breakfast clubs.
The regulations say, for example, that cakes and biscuits must not be provided outside of school lunch, and the only desserts that can be provided are yoghurt or desserts with a content of at least 50% fruit.
Can we charge for breakfast clubs?
DfE guidance on charging for school activities explains on page 5 that schools may charge for ‘optional extras’ such as breakfast and after-school clubs.
Any charge made in respect of individual pupils must not exceed the actual cost …
However, it adds:
“Any charge made in respect of individual pupils must not exceed the actual cost of providing the optional extra activity, divided equally by the number of pupils participating.
It must not therefore include an element of subsidy for any other pupils wishing to participate in the activity whose parents are unwilling or unable to pay the full charge.”
Are FSM-eligible pupils entitled to free meals in breakfast club?
The DfE explains that pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) are not automatically entitled to free meals in a school breakfast club. FSM entitlement extends only to those meals the school is legally required to provide. As breakfast clubs are an optional activity, FSM entitlement does not apply. Schools can use the pupil premium grant (PPG) to pay for or subsidise breakfast clubs for eligible pupils.
What are the average fees for breakfast clubs?
Some LAs give an indication of the average costs of school breakfast clubs on their websites. For example, Surrey County Council says that the average cost per session for breakfast clubs in the area is usually between £2.50 to £5.50.
You may wish to consult your LA to determine appropriate breakfast club fees for your local area.
Members of The Key for School Leaders have access to a range of resources on running school clubs at www.thekeysupport.com/SL