The Oslo Breakfast
In 1932 the first version of what we would now consider to be a school Breakfast Club was established. It was at a school in Oslo, Norway, where the aptly named ‘Oslo Breakfast’ was first given the thumbs up by children and teachers alike. The breakfast was not exciting by today’s standards, but it was a free and universal provision…a contrast to a lot of the Breakfast Clubs operating today, which tend to rely on school collection envelopes making there way from parents to teachers.
The Oslo Breakfast was a cold meal of bread, cheese, milk, half an apple and half an orange. The healthy menu was devised by Professor Carl Schiøtz following some insightful research into childhood nutrition. Moreover, this school breakfast scheme continued to spread throughout the 1930s, as schools recognised the benefits of giving their children something to eat.
As the feedback was so positive it was soon implemented across the rest of Scandinavia and Europe. It even reached Australia and Canada by the early 1950’s! However, despite the success of the school breakfast scheme and the positive impact it was proven to have had on children the mid-1950’s represented both the peak and decline of the Oslo Breakfast…
Due to economic growth and social change in the late 1950’s many of the schools offering Breakfast Clubs decided to review their school meal provision. Many schools continued to provide a universal free meal to their children, with most favouring a cooked dinner, rather than the uncooked breakfast pioneered in Norway. However, newly prosperous countries made the decision to scrap universal meal provisions all together, as they believed families now had the wealth to feed their children.
Today free school meal provisions are declining and they find themselves at the centre of many political arguments. A large number of today’s school meal provisions are not universally free, which represents a change compared to the Oslo Breakfast . However, School Breakfast Clubs are still around, in one form or another and they continue to play a huge role in the development of school children.
1990’s Breakfast Clubs
Breakfast Clubs, as we know them, came to the UK in the 1990’s. This was long after the benefits of a full stomach on childhood learning had been highlighted by people like Professor Schiøtz. The introduction of Breakfast Clubs at this time largely reflected a change in society. There was a change in gender roles in the 90’s, which lead to more women joining the workforce. This made it difficult for families to arrange early morning childcare, which allowed Breakfast Clubs to meet the need.
That benefit of Breakfast Clubs remains today, almost 30 years later, as parents rely on such clubs to take care of their child in the hours before the school bell. Additionally, many families rely on Breakfast Clubs to guarantee that their child will start the day ready to learn on a full stomach.
The peak of Breakfast Clubs reportedly came in 2011 when Kellogg’s’ calculated that around 20,000 Breakfast Clubs fed children every morning across the UK. However, with changes to school budgets and the ruling Government over the years it is thought that this number had almost halved by 2013. It is hard to know exactly how many Breakfast Clubs operate today, but in early 2017 Kellogg’s said that they fear a many as 200,000 school pupils could loose their access to breakfast at school over the next few years.
A large number of today’s clubs are offered as a paid service, often requiring a small collection envelope or Money Pocket to be passed from child to teacher. Oppositely, some schools provide free breakfasts for all children, which reflects the fact that there is no universal model as to how schools should run their Breakfast Club. For schools that offer a paid for or donation funded Breakfast Club we believe that Money Pockets offer the safest and easiest way to ensure that schools can collect the funds to run their Breakfast Club effectively and with a minimum of fuss.
The positive impact that school Breakfast Clubs can have on academic results is not something to be dismissed. In fact, a study published in 2016, involving 106 primary schools, found that Breakfast Clubs had a positive impact on maths and literacy grades. Additionally, in 2013 The Association of Teachers and Lecturers published the results of a survey in which they found that almost half (45%) of the school staff they asked felt that without a breakfast club many of the pupils that attended would probably have nothing to eat before lessons started.
Here at Lockie Schools we are proud to offer a service to school Breakfast Clubs and the hardworking staff and generous parents that support them. We have been long-time advocates of the benefits of nutritious breakfasts for school children, as they deserve to get the best possible start in life. Our Money Pockets collection envelopes are designed to be easy to use for parents and school staff, whilst being interesting and fun for children. They can be customised right down to a Breakfast Club Mascot! We think that it is important to get children engaged at breakfast time and with our customised school collection envelopes we hope to contribute in this way…