Free meals for Falkirk primary school pupils to be rolled out

Free meals for all primary school children will start to be rolled out in the Falkirk Council area from August.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 12:25 pm
School Meals stock photo by Alan Murray.
School Meals stock photo by Alan Murray.

Children in P1-P3 already get a free school lunch every day and when the new term starts, P4 children will also be included. From January next year it will include children in P5 and finally, from August 2022, children in P6 and P7 will be included.

At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s education, children and young people committee, the director of Children’s Services, Robert Naylor, reported the changes to the committee. He said the council had just had confirmation that they would get funding to start this and that arrangements are now being put in place.

Mr Naylor said that delivering the free school meals would mean extra staff would be required – not just catering staff but potentially cleaning and support staff too.

He added: “Our current planning indicates that the first phase of this, for the P4s, won’t have a significant impact.

“But as we get to the full implementation for primary one to primary seven, we may be looking at some of our kitchens that are not production kitchens becoming production kitchens.

“And there will also be a requirement as the dining halls become fuller for more staff to be employed – that’s likely from the second phase and certainly from the third phase.”

The money will come from the Scottish Government, after the Scottish Greens persuaded the SNP government to bring its plans forward as part of the last budget negotiations.