Pupils across Blackpool are set to enjoy another month of free school breakfasts.
The controversial pilot scheme brought in by bosses at Blackpool Council has been extended until after the Easter break.
The extra time has been granted to ensure a study into the scheme’s benefits can be done properly before the town hall’s executive committee makes a decision on its future.
Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of the council, announced his bold plans last year after raising concerns too many children were arriving at school without breakfast and so finding it difficult to concentrate.
The £700,000 pilot – the extension will be funded from existing council cash funds – had sparked debate over its cost and also wastage and litter implications to schools.
But researchers from Northumbria University have been brought in to talk to teachers, staff, pupils and parents from the resort’s 37 schools to ascertain its health, educational and social benefits.
Coun Blackburn said: “A number of schools did not start the pilot until after February half term so this allows them a few more weeks to see how it works for them.
“We also have an in-depth study being carried out by Northumbria University and it is important we know what their research finds before we make a decision on the future of the scheme.
“I look forward to seeing the research paper and am confident it will back up the positive feedback we have already received from parents and schools.”
The scheme has had the thumbs-up from pupils and parents alike at Thames Primary Academy, South Shore, who welcomed today’s announcement.
Head Girl Chloe Brough, 10, said: “It’s a good idea because some people don’t get breakfast at home, they might not have food in or the money, and if you have food you’re ready to work.”
Mum Stacey Weightman, who has four children at the Severn Road school, said: “For me, it makes mornings much easier and my son Spencer’s teacher says he’s more awake and calm in the morning.”
The pilot, which is providing 11,000 four to 11-year-olds with breakfast such as bagels or cereal bars, will now run until May 20.