West Lothian Council sets aside school meals funds

West Lothian Council has set aside funds to cover school meals for the two extra in-service days it had agreed earlier this year.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 1:00 pm
Stock photo: John Devlin
Stock photo: John Devlin

The council’s Executive committee heard the move will cost just over £15,000 to feed pupils entitled to free meals at £6 per head, which is estimated help over 2,500 S1 to S6 pupils in the local authority area.

The two extra days- Monday, May 31 and Tuesday, June 1- were agreed last month.

A report to committee said: “A decision was made through Standing Order 31 on 10 September 2020, reported to Council Executive on 6 October 2020, to provide all children entitled to free school meals with a take away packed lunch or hot meal and a take away breakfast cereal bar/cereal during the remaining school holidays.”

The report , by depute chief executive Graeme Struthers, added: “In response to the changing circumstances that have evolved since that date, a number of subsequent approvals have enabled direct payments to families of P4-S6children and young people eligible for free school meals.

"And P1-P3 pupils in receipt of school clothing grants during periods of home learning as a consequence of national Covid-19 restrictions on school openings.

"The most recent report approved under Standing Order 31, on 25 March 2021, made provision for contingency arrangements for eligible pupils in circumstances of whole school closures or class groups undertaking home learning as a consequence of the coronavirus.”

West Lothian Council also maintained support for families eligible for free school meals or clothing grants during periods of home learning by providing meals or payments throughout the pandemic.