Free lunches for P1-3 pupils

Free school meals for all primary one to three pupils are now being served in schools across Scotland

The Scottish Government’s £70.5 million expanded free school meals policy got underway at the beginning of term on Tuesday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon estimates that an additional 135,000 pupils are now eligible for the free school meals, saving parents £330 a year and as well as the £70.5 million is supported with an additional capital funding of £24.8 million for Scottish local authorities.

Borders parents were encouraged to sign their children up for a free nutritional meal that complies with current legislation.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, executive member for education at Scottish Borders Council, said: “We were one of five local authorities which took part in a pilot for this policy in 2008. The catering department held two sample days to give children the chance to have a school meal free of charge. Both the pilot and sample days proved very popular and the council is well placed to cope with the additional meal orders.

“The health benefits of eating a nutritious lunchtime meal cannot be overestimated and recent research has clearly linked the benefits of a properly balanced lunch with higher levels of educational attainment, the impact on children’s concentration and behaviour, and the long term benefits for improved health.”