Children who eat breakfast before school are twice as likely to score highly in tests and assessments at 11 than those who start learning on an empty stomach, new research shows.

A study of 5,000 nine to 11-years-olds carried out by Cardiff University reveals the first authoritative link between eating breakfast and academic performance.

Researchers add that it provides compelling evidence that any decision to scrap free school meals in Chancellor George Osborne’s comprehensive spending review next week could have a serious effect on academic standards. A squeeze on school budgets could also affect the provision of breakfast clubs.

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