Information

Free school meals statistics for Edinburgh primary schools: FOI release

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


Information requested

A breakdown of increase in school meals for primary schools (by each school) across Edinburgh since they became free for P4s and P5s.

Response

The Scottish Government does not hold the information you have asked for because the information you have requested is not available. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.

The latest data which is available has been taken from the Pupils Census for 2020, which was published in March 2021. Based on the figures provided in the census, there were 14,379 children in primaries 1 to 5 who were registered to receive free school meals. At this time, universal free school lunches were available to all children in primaries 1 to 3. This information is available on Table 6.18 of the Pupil Census Statistics.

In the same year there were 21,958 children in primaries 1 to 5 at all primary school across Edinburgh and, under the Scottish Government's current policy of providing universal free school lunches to all pupils in primaries 1 to 5, they would all be automatically registered to receive free school meals. This means an additional 7,579 primary school children in Edinburgh would have become entitled to receive free school lunches. This information is available on Table 6.4 of the Pupil Census Statistics.

The Pupils Census Statistics Reports for 2020 are available on the Scottish Government's website through the following link: Pupil census: supplementary statistics - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

With regards to a specific breakdown of free school meals eligibility by individual schools, this is available on the school level summary statistics table. The latest information available is for 2020 and this information is available through the following web link: School level summary statistics - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).

At this point in time, all children in primaries 1 to 3 were automatically registered to receive free school meals. The number of pupils on each school roll, for primaries 1 to 3, can be found in columns K, L and M of the spreadsheet. With regards to pupils in primaries 4 and 5 receiving free school meals, this is not broken down however information on the number of children from primaries 4 to 7 registered for free school meals is available in column AC of the spreadsheet.

Whilst I am sorry the information you have requested is not available, I hope the information provided within this response, based upon the most recent data, will provide you with an indication about the number of children who are likely to benefit from our policy of expanding the provision of universal free school lunches to include children in primaries 4 and 5.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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