MSP welcomes move to provide hot school meals

Rhoda Grant has welcomed moves by Shetland Islands Council to return all schools to a hot meal service.

The Labour MSP has responded after receiving a letter from the SIC, which said it was returning to the provision of cooked meals.

It comes after she raised concerns in Parliament about the nutritional substance of school meals in all schools across the Highlands and Islands post-lockdown.

Schools in Shetland have been serving packed lunches made up of a sandwich, a wrap or a pasta box, with fruit, snack and a drink since they went back after the summer holidays.

Mrs Grant said: “I appreciate these past few months must been really tough for our school leaders.

“Having to comprehend and ensure compliance with government guidance in order to keep our youngsters safe must have been a real battle.

“Many obviously found it difficult to serve hot nutritionally-balanced meals at lunchtime within Covid 19 restrictions.

“But it was troubling to hear children were being handed a sandwich and some side bits – but nothing cooked or wholly nutritious – for their lunch.

“For some children that school dinner may be heir only cooked meal of the day.

“I’m glad to hear Shetland Islands Council is moving in this direction with the appropriate social distancing being maintained. And I’m sure many parents will also welcome this.”

Since the beginning of the initial lockdown in March, until schools returned in August, parents in Shetland, including some of its vulnerable families, received a payment into their bank instead of free school meals.

Critical childcare and additional support needs hubs offered hot meals to all pupils who attended.

Education and Social Work staff also identified vulnerable families with children who would benefit from the support of an educational setting and the provision of a hot meal through lockdown.


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  • Carol McNicoll

    • October 29th, 2020 16:31

    Wonderful. So glad that Shetland is leading the way – so sensible…..


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