One-in-10 children in Dundee go to school without having breakfast, damaging their ability to concentrate in class.
Research in the city by cereal firm Kellogg’s also found that more than half of schoolkids had found it difficult to concentrate in class when they were hungry.
The impact of missing breakfast is the loss of six hours of learning – or three whole weeks per term, and comes as a big concern as the issue of breakfast clubs continues.
Despite this, one-in-seven teachers across the UK say they have experienced funding cuts to breakfast clubs.
Peter Cansell, information officer at the National Association for Primary Education, said: “Starting the school day on an empty tummy . . . is leading to a shortfall in critical learning time.
“This research even shows that those children who eat breakfast are happier, probably because they have the energy and enthusiasm to enjoy the school day.
“The benefits of pre-school clubs are proven – they ensure that children go into the classroom with the ability to concentrate.”
Kellogg’s has recently doubled the funding it offers to schools as part of its Breakfast Club Programme, which supports 3,000 schools.
The Cost of the School Day Dundee report issued by the Child Poverty Action Group recognised the struggle by parents to feed their children each morning.
Teachers told workers from the charity that they had given children their own snacks to eat if they hadn’t had breakfast.
Staff also suggested the use of Pupil Equity Fund cash to ensure children who need support get it – something the council says it has done.
However, there are still concerns among parents that those who aren’t being fed at home are still being missed when they arrive at school.