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Free school meals

In January 2015 we began funding free school meals for all children in primary 1 to primary 3 in local authority schools across Scotland, to help ensure every child has the best possible start in life.

In 2017 to 2018 we gave local authorities £54 million to deliver the policy, building on £124.5 million of revenue funding provided between 2014 and 2017, as well as £24.8 million of capital funding to support implementation.

Latest figures (June 2017) show that more than 134,000 primary 1 to 3 children (81.2%) across Scotland are now taking a free school lunch, saving families around £380 a year for each eligible child.

Our policy is an extension to the UK Government policy of offering free school meals to children and young people aged from five to 18 whose families are on low incomes and/or receiving certain benefits.

Find eligibility information on