FOI reference: FOI/18/03011
Date received: 18 October 2018
Date responded: 30 October 2018
- The total number of students eligible for Free School Meals in Primary 4 through to Primary 7, broken down by local authority area. If the exact figures are not known, you asked if we could instead provide you with the most robust Scottish Government estimate of how many children should be eligible.
- The total number of students who claim Free School Meals in Primary 4 through to Primary 7, broken down by local authority, and that it would also be helpful if we could calculate this as a percentage.
In response to the first part of your request, about the numbers who are eligible for free school meals, the most up to date figures we hold about the number of pupils eligible for free school meals (broken down by local authority area) are from 2016.
This information is outlined in the table contained within the Excel spreadsheet which I enclose in the email accompanying this letter - please refer specifically to the ‘eligibility estimate 2016’ tab. The table shows that there are 146,200 children of school age (5-18) eligible for FSM. A breakdown of data, only for pupils in primaries 4 through to 7, is not available.
This information includes data we have obtained from HMRC, and published data from DWP, which you can find through accessing the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-out-of-work-benefit-households-31-may-2016.
In response to the second part of your request, about the numbers who claim free school meals, free school meal registrations are collected by the Scottish Government as part of the healthy living survey. This information is available on the Scottish Government’s website, which you can find through accessing the following link: https://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/MealsSD/mealspesd/mealspesd2018
Tables 1a and 1b (in the link provided above) show that, in 2018, there were 39,044 pupils in primaries 4 through to 7 who are registered for free school meals. Table 7 shows the number of pupils in primaries 4 through to 7 who are registered for free school meals, broken down by local authority area, whilst table 8 provides the accompanying percentages.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at FOI Responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
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