Thursday, 30 October 2008

Free Meals Too Costly

23 of the 32 Scottish Councils have said that they cannot afford to implement the SNP Governments plans for free school meals for all P1-3 pupils. This total includes the three main city councils Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen along with SNP led councils including West Lothian, West Dunbartonshire, Perth & Kinross amongst them.

The policy is good, although Aberdeen council would rather see a free breakfast provided for better health and educational outcomes as they "remain unconvinced that the introduction of free lunches to all Primary 1-3 children adds public value or improves the outcomes for children" based on the trials evaluations. While Glasgow welcome the policy they "at this stage, under the current economic climate, cannot commit to implementation for the year 2010/11." Falkirk Council also have concerns:

"Our calculations show that the level of funding currently provided is less than
we would need to meet our ongoing additional day to day operational costs."

So the scheme is good but the Government needs to fund it adequately.

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