Free school meals extended in Scotland

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has announced a significant expansion of free school meals and childcare provision. As part of a £114 million package for young people over two years, every child in Scotland in the first three years of primary school will have the option of a free meal in school from January 2015.
 
Speaking during a parliamentary debate on poverty and the early years, Salmond also announced that free early education provision would be expanded to every child aged two from a workless household in Scotland – around 8,400 children or 15 per cent of all children aged two – by August this year. By August 2015, free early education would be extended further, reaching 15,400 children – 27 per cent of all children aged two – by widening entitlement to families that received certain benefits such as jobseeker’s allowance.
 
The First Minister said: 'The announcements that we are making today will have the greatest possible effect, given the limited resources available to us... [They] will remove any possibility of free meals being a source of stigma during the first years of a child’s schooling; it will improve health and wellbeing; and it will be worth at least £330 a year for each child to families across the country'.
 
Source: Press release 7 January 2014, Scottish Government
LinksScottish Government press release | CPAG press release | BBC report

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Publication date: 
Jan 7 2014