Double intake of free school meals

School Meals Feature,  12/01/2015, Falkirk, St Andrew's Primary School, Hawley Road, FK1 1SH, Falkirk District, Scotland''Pic by Alan Murray'Contact - mob   075 11123 919                      www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk
School Meals Feature, 12/01/2015, Falkirk, St Andrew's Primary School, Hawley Road, FK1 1SH, Falkirk District, Scotland''Pic by Alan Murray'Contact - mob 075 11123 919 www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk

A surge in the number of pupils qualifying for free school meals indicates a significant increase in low-income families in the region over the past decade.

A single-day census in 2014/15 revealed that a total of 1,557 pupils, comprising 997 primary and 560 secondary pupils, received the free meals.

This compares to the 771 pupils (529 primary and 242 secondary) who took the meals in 2004/05 – a rise of just over 100% over the 10 years.

A Freedom of Information response from Scottish Borders Council also reveals a 93% increase on the 834 students (641 and 193) who received free meals five years ago.

The council says that of the region’s 63 primary schools, 10 used an online payment and ordering system, with all others operating a weekly confidential envelope-ordering system.

All nine secondary schools in the Borders used cashless catering cards with three offering online payment for eligible pupils.