Scottish campaigners call for Universal Free School Meals

Scottish campaigners call for Universal Free School Meals
24 August 2021
Now that children in Scotland have returned to school, a group of campaigners is continuing the call for an extension of free school meals.
Campaign poster from the STUC with the text: Why wait until 2022? Shirley Anne-Somerville, take action now! Expand universal free school meals to all ages #FreeSchoolMeals

The group consists of the Scottish Trades Union Congress Women’s Committee, unions, politicians, charities and youth organisations. They have written to Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, asking the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to expand free school meal entitlement to all children from early years through primary and secondary school.

The campaign follows an announcement from the SNP that they will deliver on their commitment to free school breakfasts and lunches for all primary children. However, the campaigners want to see the Scottish Government go further, to mitigate poverty, stop stigma and close attainment gaps, by ensuring all children have access to a nutritious meal year-round. They also want to see the universal primary roll out sped up, rather than waiting until 2022.

We’ll be watching to see how this campaign develops. Universal provision is an ambition of the working group calling for a government review of school food in England and Scotland’s action on school meals will provide great insights as we consider how to reform school food in England so that no child misses out on good nutrition.