Cllr Cowan with Provost Todd, Cllrs Barton, Adams and Jones help to serve up a Magic Breakfast

Council toasts new breakfast initiative at Grange Academy

Grange Academy has launched a new breakfast initiative in partnership with the not-for-profit organisation, Magic Breakfast.

It has nothing to do with magicians, but about ensuring that all 1228 young people who attend the school have access to a free, healthy breakfast. The project, which is led by Miss Bonnar, is supported by the team from Catering Services and takes place within the ‘street’, which is the main thorough-fare of the school. Young people can pop in before school starts for a hot bagel, toast or some cereal.

Teachers and Campus Officer, PC McPike volunteer in the kitchen each morning to serve breakfast and engage with the young people. Some young people have already come forward offering to volunteer in the kitchen and in the coming weeks they will become breakfast ambassadors, helping serve and set up breakfast.

Head Teacher Scott Robertson said: “The first week of Magic Breakfast has gone really well and we are sure that it will grow week on week as word spreads around our young people.

“The pandemic really changed the way we looked at hunger as a school and the complex reasons why a young person could arrive at school hungry. It was clear that we needed to look at introducing a universal breakfast provision. By providing breakfast for everyone we are removing stigma and barriers for everyone.

“Katie Bonnar from our Guidance team applied to Magic Breakfast about two years ago and we have just been successful with our application. It was a stringent application process but now that we have been accepted the breakfast club will run indefinitely, which is fantastic news for the whole school.”

Councillor Elaine Cowan, the Council’s Spokesperson for Education, and Children and Young People was invited to join the Magic Breakfast by Head Teacher Scott Robertson, along with Provost Jim Todd, Councillor Graham Barton, Spokesperson for Planning, Property and Environment, and local members, Councillors Douglas Reid, Lillian Jones and James Adams.

Councillor Cowan said: “We were all so impressed by Grange Academy’s Magic Breakfast and the very professional breakfast set up, which has been supported by our Catering Services team. Research shows that eating breakfast is a vital part of improving learning, school attendance and the health and wellbeing of our young people. Having the opportunity to talk to Head Teacher, Scott Robertson, guidance teacher Katie Bonnar, the school’s Financial Inclusion Officer Julie McCall and the NHS school nurse team, we got an excellent insight into the complex issues that local families are facing and the importance of tackling hunger among all of our young people.

“The first week of Magic Breakfast has been a great success and I know that it will only go from strength to strength thanks to the whole Grange Academy team and the young people who are equally committed to making it a success.”