Hammersmith + Fulham Council are introducing:
1. A free, universal breakfast club offer at all primary schools in the borough. This involves making a grant to schools who already deliver a programme so that this can be made available without cost. It will also involve the commissioning of a strategic provider to support schools to improve uptake, outreach, and quality of the offer.
2. A universal free school meal pilot at two secondary schools - a meal will be available to all outside the government funded FSM cohort. An evaluation will be commissioned to understand the benefits and an explicit objective is to add to the evidence based for the efficacy of an extended entitlement at secondary level.
3. A mission-based approach to bring together the public, private, and voluntary sectors to end food poverty in a London borough (focusing on school-based solutions). A service design provider will support schools and their partners to generate a range of potential interventions, translating these into service 'blueprints' which are actionable and have clear impact. This menu of activity can then be taken forward be individual schools (or others where relevant) and will be made available and communicated to others across London and elsewhere who are committed to addressing this key social and economic challenge.
The total cost of these interventions, funded for four years, is £3.7m. This is funded by the local authority from s106 monies paid by developers.
They are looking for:
Evaluation of the UFSM pilot to establish attainment, health, financial and social benefits. A budget of c £100k has been allocated to commission researchers to support this evaluation
They would also benefit from process evaluation of the mission-based approach to help understand how action-focused partnerships can be convened and have impact on intractable social issues
There is a reasonable evidence base for the attainment benefits of a high-quality breakfast club offer are relatively secure, with an IFS/EET study showing positive benefits at year 2 and year 6 in English and Maths. It would be beneficial to understand an intervention which is aimed at doing this at scale across a whole school system, and to explore a wider range of benefits including health, financial wellbeing of households, nutrition and dietary behaviour etc
This may be within remit for the NIHR Public Health Research programme's call on "Systems approaches to local influences on food choices and diet"
Contact: Nick Kimber, Strategic Lead, London Borough of Hammersmith + Fulham