Progress to deliver school meals welcomed

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The Scottish Government has welcomed the progress being made across the country in preparations for free school meals for all primary one to three pupils.

The measure, which comes into effect on January 5, 2015, is expected to benefit around 135,000 pupils across Scotland and will save families of every eligible child at least £330 a year.

Following agreement with COSLA, the Scottish Government is providing revenue funding of £70.5 million over two years to deliver the commitment, supported with additional capital funding for local government of £24.8 million to ensure demand is met.

Learning Minister Dr Alasdair Allan said: “School lunches are hugely important in supporting a pupil’s ability to learn and January 5, 2015 marks the beginning of a new era in Scottish education.”

He added: “I have been impressed with the work that local authorities are doing to prepare. I encourage everyone with an interest to make sure they are up to date with the new arrangements.

“The Scottish Government has worked very closely with COSLA and local authorities throughout this process and I look forward to January 5, when we will see this very positive measure coming into effect.”