The County You Live, Work And Play
Free School Meals On The Increase
The uptake of free school meals in South Lanarkshire has been increasing month on month according to the council.
The local authority’s most recent figures for the uptake of meals in primary one, two and three is 77.6 per cent – a figure that continues to climb every month.
They also claim there has been no noticeable difference with regards to primary four, five, six and seven pupils who now have to pay £1.50, as opposed to the old price of £1.20, for a school lunch since the changes were passed within the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 just over a year ago.
It is estimated that the new policy saves families £380 a year for each eligible child.
SNP MSP for Clydesdale, Aileen Campbell, whom in her capacity as Minister for Children and Young People led the policy through parliament, said: “A year on, we can see how the policy has helped many families financially and socially – it saves families £380 a year per child while also supporting learning in the classroom.
“This simple measure recognises the importance of giving children the best chance to reach their potential through support in their earliest years of life.
“Free school meals can help ease pressures on tight household budgets and reduce stigma for pupils. As part of a wider effort to help close the educational attainment gap, the free school meal policy contributes to making Scotland a fairer and more equal place to live.”
Ms Campbell’s figures show over 192,500 children and young people in total and over 129,500 primary one to primary three pupils are benefiting from free school meals.
A spokesman for South Lanarkshire Council said: “The numbers are continuing to increase slightly month on month and we have not encountered any particular challenges.”