Under the provision of section 53 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, local authorities must promote the availability of school lunches at all schools, and any other educational establishments under their management, and they must encourage all pupils in attendance to consume those school lunches. In the case of free school meals, education authorities are also required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that every pupil who is entitled to free school lunches receives them.
Free school meals provision during the period 5 January to 29 January
The arrangements for free school meals over the Christmas school holidays should be rolled on for the period 5 January to 29 January initially. Local authorities and schools should continue to provide free school meals or alternatives, for children and young people who are eligible for free school meals.
These can be provided using a range of methods in line with family preference including: cash payments to families of eligible children; supermarket vouchers; home deliveries or through attendance at school. These options are not exhaustive and there may be alternatives which would better suit local needs and circumstances.
Local authorities and schools will use different approaches depending on their individual circumstances and in response to local need. These approaches may also need to change due to health protection advice.
Information on eligibility criteria is available from mygov.scot
Provision for special diets
Local authorities and schools will continue to ensure that pupils with special diets or allergies are catered for. No matter which option is chosen to provide meals to pupils, care needs to be taken to check whether any pupils have allergies or special diets before food is provided.