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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Free School Meals for 231,957 Scottish Children during Cost-of-Living Crisis

The SNP’s expansion of free school meals helped a record 231,957 children during the Tory cost of living crisis, in 2023.

In 2023 the SNP Government expanded free school meal entitlement to all children in Primary 1 to Primary 5, and the 2024/25 Budget confirmed the extension of Free School Meals for Primary 6 and Primary 7 children in receipt of the Scottish Child Payment, as part of wider expansion plans.

Uptake of free school meals across primary, secondary and special schools rose from 49.9% in 2022 to 53.4%.

Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“Scotland has the most comprehensive free school meal provision of any nation in the UK.

“These figures underline how the SNP Government is delivering for children across Scotland, easing pressure on household budgets and ensuring more children have access to a healthy, nutritious meal.

“We know the impact this Tory cost of living crisis has had on children, who are vulnerable to austerity and welfare cuts. The expansion of free school meals under the SNP now means that more parents now have one less thing to worry about when trying to make ends meet.

“Where it can, the SNP Government is doing all it can to mitigate the worst of Westminster’s backwards policies and cost crisis, but without the full powers of independence, there is only so far it can go in tackling the root causes of poverty.”


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