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MSP calls for "unenviable choice" on school meals to be set aside
01 December 2008
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Marlyn Glen is writing to Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop saying that Dundee City Council "should not be faced with the unenviable choice between providing free school meals for P1-P3 classes and being forced to think about withdrawing breakfast clubs to pay for them."
Ms. Glen says that the council should be fully funded by the Scottish Government to provide free school meals for younger children
"The SNP Government has already admitted that they will give councils no more new money to provide free school meals
" How can they say that they donít know how much it will cost local councils to provide these school meals but at the same time claim that there is enough money in the Concordat with local councils to provide these meals ?
"Councils should not be faced with an unenviable choice such as thinking about closing down breakfast clubs to pay for free school meals.
"There is evidence that breakfast clubs provide social and educational benefits for children.
"They ensure that children do not miss breakfast and they help to encourage healthy eating habits.
" A pilot scheme on breakfast clubs ran in Aberdeen from Easter to summer this year.
" At the beginning of the pilot, 8 per cent of pupils said that they never ate breakfast, but by the end, that figure had dropped to 1 per cent."
Dundee City Council leader Councillor Kevin Keenan, said,
"I have made representation to Adam Ingram, the Childrenís Minister, on the benefits of providing breakfast clubs.
"I would not like to see breakfast clubs introduced just to see them withdrawn further down the line in the current economic climate."