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Inverclyde Council expands free school meals to all primary pupils

21 Aug 2023
Free school meals for all primary pupils is on the menu in Inverclyde after the council became the first in Scotland to introduce the policy in time for the new term.

Every child from P1-7 can now access a healthy and nutritious lunch at no cost to their families from the start of the 2023/24 term which began on Friday 18th August 2023. Previously all Inverclyde pupils up to and including primary fives were entitled to free school meals. Hundreds more in P6 and P7 are now set to benefit from the policy.

The policy is expected to cost Inverclyde Council around £350,000, which includes one-off investment in school kitchens and dining areas to cater for the increased uptake at lunchtimes and to cover loss of income that would usually come from school meals charges. Work on upgrades to kitchens and canteens has begun and will continue throughout the new term.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s education convener, said: “I’m proud that we’re leading the way by introducing fully funded free school meals for all primary pupils. This will provide a massive boost to many of our families who are struggling with the cost of living crisis and is part of our commitment to do all we can to tackle child poverty.

“Every child from P1 through to P7 can now access a healthy, nutritious lunch in the comfort of one of our new or refurbished schools without cost to their families. We have one of the best education estates in Scotland, if not the UK, and now we’re ensuring the young people who attend them are fuelled in the canteen to help reach their full potential in the classroom.”