MSP welcomes free school meals for P1-3 pupils

Christian Allard MSP.
Christian Allard MSP.

SNP MSP Christian Allard has welcomed the positive start to 2014 for school children across Scotland after the Scottish Government’s decision to provide healthy free school meals to all pupils in the first three years of primary school education.

Mr Allard said he was proud to vote in favour of the £114 million package that, according to the latest available figures, will see 8,148 P1 to P3 children across Aberdeenshire entitled to a free meal in school from January next year.

The announcement was warmly welcomed by a coalition of children’s charities who have been campaigning for this policy.

The North East MSP said: “I was proud to vote in favour of giving young children the option of a free meal at school and I’m delighted that it has been backed by children’s charities across the country.

“A healthy, free school meal everyday can help improve the wellbeing and increase attainment levels of school children.

“I am particularly pleased that families will have the chance to save at least £330 a year for each child when the policy takes effect.”

This news was followed by Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP’s response to Mr Allard’s topical question recently in which he stated that three new school projects in the North East will receive around £78 million investment, benefiting 2,000 pupils.

Mr Russell added: “The Scottish Government is investing more than £134 million in eight new secondary schools and one new primary school in North East Scotland through the £1.25 billion Scotland’s schools for the future programme between now and March 2018.”