The Scottish Government has announced new arrangements around free school meals, school clothing grants and help for families.
Currently, universal free school meals are given to primary 1-3 pupils but this will be expanded in August to include P4s.
From January next year, it will also include P5s.
More than 90,000 primary school pupils will be entitled to new free school meal support in term time.
Our £28 million commitment will deliver free school lunches during term time for P4 children by Aug 2021 and to P5 children by Jan 2022.
— ScotGov Education (@ScotGovEdu) June 5, 2021
All pupils entitled to statutory free school meals will receive a payment of £287.50 for the period June 28 to August 16. This payment will be broken down to seven weeks worth of free school meals at £12.50 per week, £100 school clothing grant allowance and the inclusion of £100 summer family pandemic payment.
Families who are already receiving free school meals do not need to apply for this funding and payment will be made directly by June 25 into the nominated bank account.
During the election, the SNP pledged to expand free school meals to help tackle poverty in Scotland.
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Sommerville today said in an update: “Free school meals are a vital support to thousands of children and young people across the country – ensuring that children have access to a free, healthy and nutritious meal every day they are in school and are ready to engage in learning.
“The provision of £49.75million in new funding to local authorities demonstrates our support for the health and wellbeing of children and young people and our commitment to reduce the impact of poverty on thousands of families across the country.”
Although pre-school age children are not entitled to free school meals families can apply for the Scottish child payment, which is a weekly payment of £10 for every child under the age of six.
Families who are on a low income but do not currently receive free school meals can check their eligibility here.