Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Helping Clear School Meal Debt In Scotland

16th May 2024

First Minister John Swinney has confirmed the opening of a £1.5 million fund to support councils in removing the impact of school meal debt from families across the country.

Mr Swinney said this commitment will help ensure no child is penalised for struggling to pay for school meals as a result of the cost of living crisis.

While school meal debt is ultimately a matter for local authorities, the Scottish Government is making the emergency one-off funding pot available to support councils to help remove the impact of the debt - recognising the challenges many families are facing during the ongoing cost of living crisis.

All pupils in primary one to five in Scotland, and all children in special schools, currently receive free school meals, saving families who take up the offer an average of £400 per child per year. In 2024-25, the Scottish Government is investing to extend this free provision to all pupils in primary 6 and 7 whose families receive the Scottish Child Payment as the next step towards universal provision in primary schools.

Mr Swinney said, "As First Minister, my ambition is to eradicate child poverty – and today I am pleased that we are continuing progress to ensure that no child or their family is penalised for struggling to pay for a school meal during a cost of living crisis they did not create.

"School meal debt can have a real impact on the wellbeing of families and can serve to stigmatise children whose families are going through challenging times. Local authorities can now bid to receive funding from a one-off Scottish Government fund which will support them to remove the impact of school meal debt.

“As a result of a decade and a half of austerity and a cost of living crisis caused by the UK Government, too many families are struggling to make ends meet – and my government will take all the action we can to support them.

“I am determined that we support our children to have the best start in life – that is why we are expanding free school meal provision to ensure every pupil can have a nutritious meal at school and ensuring no child is penalised simply because their family is struggling."

Funding to cancel school meal debt was confirmed in the Scottish Budget 2024-2025.

Local authorities who apply for support will receive support to clear school meal debt accrued to 31 March 2024. It is for local authorities to determine whether to apply for subsidy and only those who do apply will receive support.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Final Business Case For Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport Endorsed
Members of the Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee have endorsed the Final Business Case (FBC) for the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, signifying another major step forward in the development of Highland as a global centre for Green Energy and inward investment.   Chair of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans welcomed the report.  
Candidates Confirmed By Highland Council For UK Parliamentary General Election 2024
14 candidates are seeking election on Thursday 4 July 2024 for the two Highland UK Parliamentary constituencies:.   7 candidates are standing in the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituency 7 candidates in the Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire constituency.  
Highland Voters Urged To Prepare For Upcoming UK General ElectionThumbnail for article : Highland Voters Urged To Prepare For Upcoming UK General Election
Residents in the two Highland Constituencies - Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross and Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire are being urged to prepare ahead of the UK parliamentary general election taking place on Thursday 4 July.   Anyone who wants to have their say in the UK general election must be registered to vote by Tuesday 18 June.  
Parents And Carers As Partners In Their Children's Education
The Parental Engagement Strategy aims to build on good practice and create further opportunities for partnership working between schools and parents/carers; supporting parents and carers as partners in their children's education and welcoming their involvement in school life.   Cllr John Finlayson, Education Chair said: "There are great benefits to parents/carers being involved in their children’s learning from helping them with homework and forming stronger connections with the school through events and volunteering opportunities.  
Young Carers Statement - Help From Highland Council
A simple and digitally accessible plan is available to any child or young person in Highland who cares for another person.   Cllr John Finlayson, Education Chair said: "Young Carers do an incredible job to help look after those closest to them, and it can be a challenge to find time or the words for conversations around their own wellbeing and future.  
Visitor Levy Bill Passed By Scottish Parliament And Highland Council Welcomes It
MSPs have backed legislation giving councils a new power to introduce a visitor levy that would raise funding for local visitor facilities and services.   The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill will enable local authorities to apply a levy on overnight stays with all money raised to be reinvested in services and facilities largely used by tourists and business visitors.  
Draft Community Wealth Building Strategy - Your Chance To Have Your SayThumbnail for article : Draft Community Wealth Building Strategy - Your Chance To Have Your Say
The Highland Council has today (Wednesday 29 May 2024) launched a survey to capture comments on its' draft strategy on Community Wealth Building.   Community Wealth Building provides an alternative approach to economic development and a practical response that aims to keep wealth within a local area.  
School Numbers Dropping According To Council ForecastsThumbnail for article : School Numbers Dropping According To Council Forecasts
On Thursday 30 May 2024 the Education committee of Highland Council will be updated on the 15-year School Roll Forecasts (SRFs) that were published in April 2024 and the recent work undertaken to support the roll forecasting and school capacity modelling processes.  There will be a presentation at the Committee meeting that will provide more information, including graphics to illustrate current statistics and future trends.  
Early Learning And Childcare Job Opportunities Across Highland
Have you considered a rewarding job working with young children within your community? The Highland Council is recruiting for permanent and fixed term posts commencing in August 2024.  Our Early Learning Centre (ELC) settings are varied in size due to the rural and urban settings.  
Leader highlights investment opportunities in Highland to delegates at major international event
The Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Raymond Bremner highlighted important investment opportunities in the region at this week's UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF).   The Leader and Allan Maguire, Highland Council’s Head of Development & Regeneration attended this week’s event in Leeds as part of a delegation from the Scottish Cities Alliance.