With pupils across the country preparing to go back to school, 2758 children across Clackmannanshire will be eligible for free school meals this year, it has been revealed.
Data released from the Scottish Government’s Healthy Living Survey, conducted in February 2017, shows that over 250,000 pupils will be eligible for free school lunches – a figure that has doubled in the last three years.
As a range of measures designed to eliminate child poverty, in 2015, the SNP Government pledged to introduce free school meals for pupils in primary 1-3. It is estimated that the move could save families up to £380 per year, with additional benefits upon learning and attainment as a result of free school meals.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Clackmannanshire & Dunblane, Keith Brown said: “It’s welcome news that 2758 school pupils in Clackmannanshire are eligible for free school meals – an integral part of ensuring that every child gets the best start in life. Alongside the nutritional benefits of a healthy meal, this initiative with alsohelp reduce the attainment gap, one of the central pledges of the Scottish Government.
“Guaranteeing our youngest pupils a healthy meal during the school day not only helps them learn, but it is estimated it can save families an estimated £380 a year.
“This is just one of the steps the SNP Scottish Government is taking to tackle child poverty and help household incomes – and is an essential part of our central ambition to drive up standards in Scottish schools.
“Teachers, staff and pupils remain absolutely critical in driving up these standards in our schools and I wish every single one of them all the best for the upcoming school term.”