Publication - FOI/EIR release

Number of children eligible for free school meals: FOI release

Published: 7 Jan 2019

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
7 Jan 2019
Number of children eligible for free school meals: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/03011
Date received: 18 October 2018
Date responded: 30 October 2018

Information requested

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.

Response

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.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at FOI Responses

Spreadsheet

XLSX
57.4 kB

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference 

Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu
Phone: 0300 244 4000 

The Scottish Government 

St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3DG