Brechin pupils could get free school meals in primaries one to three

Primary school pupils in Brechin and across Angus could be set to benefit from additional support announced by the Scottish Government.

The announcement was part of £114 million package for young people over two years, and will give every primary one to primary three pupil across Scotland the option of a free meal as of January 2015.

Based on current primary school numbers, 1241 primary ones in Angus could benefit, along with 1159 primary twos and 1181 primary three pupils.

The government also announced that free childcare provision would be expanded to every two-year-old from a workless household in Scotland – around 8,400 children or 15 per cent of all two year olds – by August this year.

By August next year, it is hoped that free childcare provision would be extended further, reaching 15,400 children by widening entitlement to families that received certain welfare benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The revelations were welcomed by children’s charities. However the decision by the Labour Party to vote against the move, has drawn criticism from Angus North and Mearns MSP, Nigel Don, who is a member of the SNP.

He said: “This week’s debate completely exposed Labour’s narrow partisan agenda. In their determination to attack everything proposed by the SNP, the Labour Party ended up voting against policies which Labour themselves have claimed to support.

“But that is of course exactly what they were doing – and now they have to explain their actions to the coalition of charities which has campaigned for this policy.

“I was proud to vote for the rollout of healthy free school meals to all children in primaries one to three, and a significant expansion of childcare provision.

“Labour’s shambolic actions this week show once again that only the powers of independence offer us the chance to build on this to make a truly transformational change.”