The EIS teaching union has called on the Scottish Government to urgently extend free school meals to all pupils in primary and secondary schools. This comes amid growing concerns about the cost of living, with many families struggling to make ends meet.
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that work is already underway to extend free school meals to all primary pupils. Still, the EIS believes this should be extended to all pupils as urgent.
Union president Larry Flanagan said: “With the cost of living continuing to rise, it is essential that we do everything we can to help families struggling to make ends meet. Free school meals can make a big difference for many families, and we must ensure that no child goes hungry.”
According to the latest figures from the Scottish Government, around 17% of Scotland’s households live in poverty. This is an issue that the EIS believes must be addressed urgently, and free school meals for all pupils is one way to help ease the financial burden on families.
The 2022-23 Programme for Government, published yesterday, states: “Subject to agreement with Cosla, we will begin to roll out the provision of universal free school meals to Primary 6 and Primary 7 pupils, and take further action to reduce the cost of the school day for families, including reducing the cost of school uniforms through new guidance.”
However, there is still no firm target date for when this will happen. The EIS urges the Scottish Government to urgently extend free school meals to all pupils so that no child goes hungry.
In addition to free school meals, the EIS calls on the Scottish Government to provide additional support for families struggling to make ends meet. This could include increasing welfare payments or introducing a universal basic income.
The EIS will continue to press the Scottish Government on this issue and calls on them to urgently extend free school meals to all pupils.
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