Scottish schools prepare for free meals plan

From January 5, all primary 1-3 pupils will be entitled to free school meals. Picture: TSPL

From January 5, all primary 1-3 pupils will be entitled to free school meals. Picture: TSPL

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THE Scottish Government has welcomed progress in preparation for the launch of its free school meals programme in the new year.

From January 5, all primary 1-3 pupils will be entitled to free school meals, affecting around 135,000 children across the country.

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The Government is providing £70.5 million over two years to help councils deliver the policy, with a further £24.8 million from local government.

Learning Minister Alasdair Allan said: “School lunches are hugely important in supporting a pupil’s ability to learn and January 5, 2015 marks the beginning of a new era in Scottish education.

“This Government is proud to be implementing free school meals for all P1-3 pupils. Delivering a saving of at least £330 a year for eligible families is just one aspect of this Government’s work to tackle the scourge of child poverty in Scotland.”

He added: “I have been impressed with the work that local authorities are doing to prepare. I encourage everyone with an interest to make sure they are up to date with the new arrangements.

“The Scottish Government has worked very closely with Cosla (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) and local authorities throughout this process and I look forward to January 5, when we will see this very positive measure coming into effect.”

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