Free meals cost more

PROVIDING free meals for young primary school pupils in Shetland – in line with new Scottish government policy – will cost the council just over quarter of a million pounds a year.

The SNP administration at Holyrood announced plans to introduce free lunches for all pupils in primaries one to three earlier this year. The policy is to be paid for within the existing concordat agreement with Scotland’s 32 local authorities and must be introduced in time for the start of the 2010-11 term.

Some councils have expressed concern that they will find it difficult to finance but the SIC has said it does not envisage a problem. Last week’s services committee heard that its introduction will come at a cost of £276,504 a year from the council’s education budget.


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