EDUCATION chiefs have urged parents to take advantage of school meal cash payments as they help families through this "anxious" time.

Maureen McKenna, Glasgow's director of education, has written to parents of children entitled to free school meals to tell them about the council's plans.

They involved a payment of £25 directly into parents' bank accounts - once a fortnight for each child.

The cash is aimed at helping families while schools are closed and pupils are learning at home.

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “We wanted to let our families in receipt of free schools meals know as soon as possible how we would support them during the current lockdown restrictions.

"This is and anxious time for everyone so hopefully this is one less worry at least.”

During the last schools closure, parents were given Farmfoods vouchers to pay for food.

Some 32,000 cards were sent out to parents and carers of children entitled to free school meals or clothing grants.

And these were topped up every two weeks with cash.

The scheme saw some minor glitches, however, with parents complaining of a delay in receiving their vouchers.

This time round, they will receive direct payments - the first payment on Friday, January 22 to cover the weeks beginning January 11 and 18 and every two weeks following that until schools reopen.

In a letter to parents with children at city schools, Mrs McKenna said: "As you know, during the Scottish Government's current lockdown restrictions, most of our pupils are learning from home.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support - I know this is a challenging time for all of us.

"In order to support families of children who are eligible for free school meals we are writing to let you know that during this period of lockdown we will pay £25 per child every two weeks into parents/carers' bank accounts."

The council has asked any parent who thinks their family might be eligible to receive a payment to check the council website and get in touch.

The information can be found at: