Free School Meals


Free school meals have been available to the poorest children in Scotland for some time. I know this as I benefited from them for most of my time at school until I left in 1987. I also know from my own experience that often the free meal is missed at the weekends and over the long summer break. Furthermore, it is a fact that schools with high numbers of children eligible for free school meals tend to also suffer from low educational attainment. The link between deprivation, educational outcome and inequality is clear across Scotland.
Whilst the SNP’s action of extending free school meals to the richest families in Scotland will have undoubted benefits, not least the £330 Ms Sturgeon says it will save families each year, my own view is the £95m used to fund this policy could be better used to tackle more pressing issued in deprived areas.
At my son’s school in Edinburgh only 2.5% of children are eligible for free school meals and educational attainment is good. Nonetheless, to make space for all P1-P3 children to have access to a free school meal the school gymnasium is being brought into service as a dining hall. This has the impact of curtailing my son’s gym classes. Could a school in a more deprived area of Edinburgh not have made far better use of this money to, say, run a breakfast club or start adult literacy classes?

One thought on “Free School Meals

  1. Maureen Johnson says:

    I whole-heartedly agree, but then you see that would require thinking and doing best for the children. Everything SNP has appeared to hand out to us has been a blanket to everyone, even those who are not cold, and those people are some of the first to oppose such favours. It’s easy you see – patronising, ineffective and expensive but requires little thought and some are taken in by same. I am a socialist and want the best for less affluent of us, and as you say there are better ways of enriching our young people.

    The timing makes me sick, but then nothing surprises me of the leadership of this country. Scotland ‘s people deserves better.


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