More than 90,000 primary school pupils will be entitled to new free school meal support in term time, with 145,000 children and young people receiving targeted free school meal support during school holidays.

The Scottish Government and local authority partners have reached agreement to introduce universal free school lunches for primary 4 and 5 children and targeted support during school holidays for all eligible primary and secondary children and young people.

The £28 million commitment will deliver free school lunches during term time for P4 children by August 2021 and to P5 children by January 2022

A further £21.75 million will provide targeted free school meal support during school holidays in 2021-22. This will start in July for around 145,000 primary and secondary children and young people from low income households.

Councils will determine what approach in school holidays meets local needs and circumstances, which may include the provision of direct payments, vouchers or food parcels. 

Commenting, Christina McKelvie MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said:

Free school meals are a vital support to thousands of children and young people across the country – ensuring that children have access to a free, healthy and nutritious meal every day they are in school and are ready to engage in learning. 

“The extra funding provided by the Scottish Government will be absolutely vital in tackling the impact poverty can have on the education of our children and young people.

"It is also extremely heartening to see the partnership between the Scottish Government and Local Authorities lead to a commitment to further expand provision of free school meals to all Primary 4s in August 2021 and Primary 5s in the later part of the academic year."

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