The number of Dundee school pupils enjoying free school meals is on the increase amid plans to provide free tea time meals for children at five primaries.
A report has revealed the number of primary and secondary children in the city claiming free meals went up in the first quarter of this year.
Members of Tayside Contracts Joint Committee will be told at a meeting today that free meal uptake is higher in Dundee than the rest of Tayside.
Figures show that 71.6% of primary children had a free school meal in the first quarter of this year — compared with 70% during the same period last year. The figure for secondary schools in the same period has risen from 56.2% to 61.3%.
The report, by managing director of Tayside Contracts Iain Waddell, states: “Free meal entitlement is highest in Dundee and consequently free meal uptake is considerably higher in Dundee than Angus and Perth and Kinross.”
The report also shows that a total of 335,414 primary children had a school meal in the period — up 19,000 compared with the same period last year.
At secondary level, 125,506 pupils had a school meal — 26,000 more than last year.
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that the Dundee Fun and Food Programme, piloted in the Easter holidays, is set to be extended, with Mr Waddell adding: “Plans are now under way to extend the initiative and run a pilot provision of teas during term time as part of the homework club for pupils that are eligible for free school meals in five city primary schools: Fintry, St Francis (Pitkerro), St Francis (Longhaugh), Ballumbie and Longhaugh.”
Earlier this year, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance visited the Summer Family Fun and Food Programme in Dundee, run by One Parent Families Scotland, which helps families who receive free school meals during term.