D-day looms for breakfast scheme decision

Lori-Anne Brotherton, of Westgate Road St Annes, has asked her childrens' school not to give them their free breakfast, as she provides them with a good one at home.'Lori-Anne with Hennecy (4) and 3 year-old Tia-Marie enjoying breakfast.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'20-5-2013
Lori-Anne Brotherton, of Westgate Road St Annes, has asked her childrens' school not to give them their free breakfast, as she provides them with a good one at home.'Lori-Anne with Hennecy (4) and 3 year-old Tia-Marie enjoying breakfast. PIC BY ROB LOCK'20-5-2013
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A report into the success of Blackpool’s revolutionary – and controversial – free breakfasts in schools scheme is set to be revealed.

Blackpool Council launched a pilot-scheme to provide breakfast for the resort’s 11,000 primary school pupils in January.

Councillors will decide on the future of the free breakfasts scheme at an executive meeting on June 17.

During the £700,000 pilot scheme, researchers from Northumbria University have talked to teachers, staff, pupils and parents from the resort’s schools to ascertain its health, educational and social benefits.

Papers showing findings from the research will be released this Friday, ahead of the decision.

But as town hall chiefs await the findings of the report, some young mums are asking their children’s school not to give them free breakfasts, saying their children are properly fed at home.

Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of the council, announced the plans after raising concerns children arrive at school without breakfast.

But Lori-Anne Brotherton and Kirsty Parker, who both have children at Thames Academy, South Shore, have criticised the scheme saying it allows parents to shirk their responsibilities.

Now they have told teachers the breakfasts are not needed for their children.

The pair say they are keen not to be typecast as poor parents by the scheme.

Lori-Anne, 22, who has two children Hennecy, four, and Tia-Marie, three, said: “They gets their breakfast at home and that’s where it should be.

“I think it’s painting a picture that we can’t feed our children. I think parents, whether on benefits or working, should be able to afford to feed their children.”

Kirsty, 19, said: “It is horrible to think of children going to school without the most important meal of the day but responsibility lies with parents to feed them.

“I think the money could be spent on other things.”

Kirsty and partner Jason, 24, have breakfast with daughter Tegan, five, each morning.

Lori-Anne, who lives with partner Christopher on Westgate Road, St Annes, added: “We’re young parents but we’re doing well by our children.”

A spokesman for Blackpool Council confirmed free breakfasts will continue in schools until June 17.

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