Every pupil in the first three years of primary school (P1-P3) will be provided with a free, healthy school meal from January.
The SNP Government initiative was welcomed by local MSP Margaret Burgess, who said, “As well as improving health and wellbeing, and supporting educational attainment, this will save families at least £330 a year for each child.
“As part of the Scottish Government’s £114m package for young people over the next two years, 4,356 North Ayrshire children are eligible for the free school meal. It means that every child in P1-P3 is guaranteed a nutritious, healthy meal, which will help to end any perceived stigma for those already entitled to free meals.”
Mrs Burgess, MSP for Cunninghame South and the SNP Minister for Housing & Welfare, indicated the free school meals initiative is backed by a number children’s charities, including the Child Poverty Action Group, Children 1st and Save the Children, as well as the Scottish Trades Union Congress. Larry Flanagan of the Educational Institute of Scotland, the teacher’s trade union, described the policy as “an important and significant step” for Scottish children.