PRIMARY four and five pupils can now tuck into free school meals as the Scottish Government has extended the scheme.

The new scheme will see free school lunches for all primary four and five pupils as well as free lunches during school holidays too.

Some secondary aged children will also be given free school meals outwith term time.

The £28million scheme will deliver free school lunches during term time for primary four children by August this year but primary five pupils will have to wait until January 2022.

A further £21.75million will provide free school meals during school holidays from July for primary and secondary children and young people from low income households.

Councils will determine what approach in school holidays meets local needs and circumstances, which may include the provision of direct payments, vouchers or food parcels.

Councillor Stephen McCabe of COSLA said: “Councils across Scotland have long been committed to delivering healthy free school meals – to eligible children and young people. We are pleased that, in partnership with Scottish Government, this commitment can be further expanded upon by providing free school meals to all primary four pupils in August 2021 and Primary five pupils in the later part of the academic year.

“Local authorities will continue to work hard to ensure that children and young people have access to healthy and nourishing meals so that they are fully able to learn, play, and engage with their peers and communities.”

The new expansion to the scheme in Scotland means 90,000 pupils will be given a free school meal.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Free school meals are a vital support, ensuring that children have access to a free, healthy and nutritious meal every day they are in school.”