CHILDREN who eat breakfast do much better in their GCSEs, a study has found.
Their scores on average were two grades higher than those of pupils who went without.
The findings back calls for all pupils to be offered free breakfasts in school before classes start.
Alex Cunningham, of the charity Magic Breakfast which provides free meals, said: “Education is crucial to a child’s future life success and escaping poverty.
“Therefore ensuring every child has access to a healthy start to the day must be a priority.”
Nearly 300 pupils aged 15 and 16 were asked about their eating habits by Leeds University researchers.
Almost a third rarely or never had breakfast, while more than half said they did so frequently.
When their GCSE results were converted into points — with A* equalling 58, A 52, B 46, and so on — the children who ate nothing got an average of 10.25 points less.
Lead researcher Dr Katie Adolphus said: “The UK has a growing problem of food poverty.
“With an estimated half a million children arriving at school each day too hungry to learn.”
The study is published in Frontiers in Public Health.