Free school meals extend to P4 pupils

editorial image

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Schools lined up for the free lunches include Dalmilling, Braehead and Newton Primaries in Ayr as well as Girvan Primary. 

Finance bosses will plough £60,000 into the scheme this year.

Currently all children in P1, P2 and P3 get free schools meals but that stops at P4. The free P4 meals were approved as part of the budget meeting at full council last week with every councillor supporting it. 

Labour Councillor Ian Cavana said: “It is a sad reflection in the fifth richest country in the world that we have to do this.”

He warned we could “lose a generation” if action isn’t taken, adding: “It has to  be done. It is getting worse in education every day.”

The council’s budget paper said provision of free school meals is being extended to “Primary 4 children in the most deprived areas” to ease the burden on families and ensure children are “nourished and ready to learn”.

About 800 children in South Ayrshire are regularly attending one of the 30 South Ayrshire schools breakfast clubs, 21 of them run by the council. All of the council-run clubs provide a free breakfast or a minimal charge of about 50p to £1.