New IFS research finds that providing school breakfasts free to all children in disadvantaged English primary schools helps pupils to make two months’ additional progress over the course of a year. These gains seem to be driven by better behaviour and concentration in the classroom, meaning that even students who don’t eat breakfast at school can benefit from the improved learning environment. These benefits come at a low cost relative to other programmes with a similar impact on attainment.
The results of the breakfast club evaluation featured in this work were updated in December 2019. See the revised report here.