Warning children will go hungry amid Scottish Government U-turn on free breakfast pledge

Posted: 4th September 2023

MINISTERS were blasted last night for failing on a pledge to provide free breakfasts for schoolkids.

Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth has hinted some pupils may not qualify for the freebie meals, angering campaigners.

And the Scottish Government is facing pressure on the issue ahead of parly’s return and Humza Yousaf’s first Programme for Government policy showcase on Tuesday.

Ms Gilruth has told MSPs she is looking at “what more needs to be done” to ensure “those children who need it” can get breakfast before school, sparking fears the long-delayed pledge could be diluted.

Last night, Finlay Allmond of charity kids’ meals provider Magic Breakfast said voters will be concerned about a possible U-turn.

He added: “As poverty rates remain stubbornly high, it is vital the government doesn’t forget their promise because children, young people and families certainly won’t.”

The policy was first revealed at the SNP conference in 2020 by then Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

And during the Holyrood election campaign in 2021 Nats vowed: “Free school breakfasts and lunches to primary school pupils – for all classes, all year round.”

But the rollout has been delayed.

Labour education spokeswoman Pam Duncan-Glancy said: “Inequality and poverty has soared – 40,000 more children are in poverty in Scotland compared to a decade ago.

“SNP incompetence is failing young people.

“They need to stop breaking promises, be honest about their plans and get serious about delivering on them.”

The Scottish Government said: “We are committed to introducing free year-round breakfast and lunch.

“There is a mixed delivery of breakfast provision.

“We are working with local authorities and organisations to develop these plans further.”


Source: Warning children will go hungry amid Scottish Government U-turn on free breakfast pledge | The Scottish Sun

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