More Children in the UK Going to School without Breakfast

November 14, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. skip (v.) 
[skip] – to not do something
Example: Some women skip meals in order to lose weight.

2. make ends meet (idiom) [meyk][ends][meet] – to have enough money to pay for things that one needs to live
Example: The young man worked night and day but still couldn’t make ends meet.

3. apathy (n.) [ap-uh-thee] – a feeling of not having enough interest in something
Example: Some people feel apathy toward news about wars in other countries.

4. budget cut (n.) [buhj-it][kuht] – the act of decreasing the budget set aside for something
Example: The company had to introduce budget cuts to cope with the economic problem.

5. disadvantaged (adj.) [dis-uhd-van-tijd, -vahn-] – poor; in a worse situation than other people
Example: Supporting disadvantaged people is one of the concerns of the government.

Read the text below.

Kellogg’s recent survey of 500 teachers in the UK revealed an alarming number of children skipping their morning meals. Teachers said four out of five children go to school without eating breakfast, and the problem is getting worse.

The teachers said that without eating a healthy breakfast, many children behave badly at school and are unable to focus on studying.

In the survey, teachers blamed parental apathy the most. They said parents are often too busy or do not make an effort to prepare meals in the morning. Some parents feed their children junk food such as chocolate and soda for breakfast.

Teachers said financial hardship could be another reason why a lot of children are skipping breakfast. Parents who are trying to make ends meet may not have enough money to provide good food to their children.

To combat the problem, a third (1/3) of primary school teachers brought food to school. One-sixth (1/6) of the surveyed teachers reported spending £24.99 from their own salary feeding students.

Kellogg’s, a food company best known for its breakfast cereals, has been supporting school breakfast clubs all over the UK. Breakfast clubs provide free morning meals to hungry students. However, with recent budget cuts in schools, many teachers worry that breakfast clubs may have to close, and even more children will go hungry.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education commented on the survey results, saying the government too is worried.  However, she assured people that the Department of Education is protecting the schools’ budgets and is providing monetary support to schools with a high number of disadvantaged pupils.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         In your country, what are common reasons for children skipping breakfast?
·         How can we get more children to eat breakfast before going to school?

Discussion B

·         Is it important for people to eat breakfast? Why do you think so?
·         Describe your ideal morning meal. What is the best food to eat for breakfast?


November 14, 2012