Corp imageOne year after the introduction of free school meals for all pupils in Primary 1 to 3, new figures highlight over 192,000 pupils are benefiting from the measures.

Figures show that 192,500 children and young people in total, and over 129,500 pupils in P1-3, are now benefitting from a free school meal. A total of 259,000 pupils are now registered for free school meals – almost doubling in one year. The Scottish Government introduced universal free school meals for all pupils in Primary 1 to 3 from the 5th of January 2014. Estimates suggest this will save the families of every eligible child at least £380 every year.

Commenting, Linda said:

“One year after the introduction of free school meals, I welcome the fact that over 190,000 pupils in Scottish schools are benefitting while even more are registered.

“The decision will save families £380 a year per child – a substantial saving at a time of tight family budgets. However, the benefits of free school meal provision are not just financial. The policy ensures young children get a healthy and nutritious meal every day, helping them concentrate better on their studies and to achieve better academic results.

“The evidence shows that free school meals can help close the attainment gap in education, which the SNP have put at the heart of our ambition for Scotland.

“The SNP is absolutely committed to reducing poverty and inequality in Scotland – and the continued provision of universal benefits such as free school meals are key to achieving the fairer society we all want to see.”

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