Free school meals are welcomed by MSP

The Scottish Government policy of introducing free school meals for P1-P3 children across Scotland has been welcomed by Adam Ingram MSP.

The flagship legislation came into force on Monday this week and will provide every pupil with the opportunity for a free school meal.

It is expected to save the families of children involved an average of £330 per year with 135,000 children expected to benefit from the scheme.

Adam Ingram MSP said: “That all P1-P3 children will be entitled to a free school meal is a major step forward – and is a policy which will benefit pupils and their families alike.

“We all know that the early years of a child’s life are the most crucial and can shape their habits for a lifetime – so ensuring our children have access to a healthy lunch could see real improvements in Scotland’s public health in the future.

“Ensuring the youngest pupils in our schools have access to healthy and nutritious lunches can also play an important role in improving attainment and helping pupils to achieve their best in class.

“As well as helping our children to be healthier and achieve more in school, this policy will also provide a real boost to family budgets in tough financial times – with families benefiting to the tune of £330 per year for every eligible child.”

The free meals policy is being provided by £70.5m in revenue funding and £24.8m in additional captial funding by the Scottish Government and has been backed by various organisations including the Child Poverty Action Group, One Parent Families Scotland, Children in Scotland and trade unions who see it as a positive step forward.