MORE than 40,000 children in Glasgow are set to benefit from the extension of free meals in primary schools.

Free school meals will be offered to all children from P1 to P7 from August.

The move had been proposed by the Scottish Government if it was re-elected in May but was brought forward as part of a deal with the Greens to back the SNP’s budget.

Greens councillor Jon Molyneux asked Glasgow City Council’s education convener Chris Cunningham for an update on the plans.

Mr Cunningham said, based on a September 2020 census, 41,118 pupils in Glasgow would be able to access the meals.

Additional staff and kitchens will be required as well as equipment, such as cutlery, the councillor added.

“We will have to potential consider some adaptations to allow for the increased numbers taking school lunches.”

There will be a “a total of £1.82m in capital spend and £7.57m in revenue”, Mr Cunningham said. “These are at 2020 prices.”

The £1.82m is required for adaptations and catering infrastructure while £2.26m will go towards increased supervision and – assuming 90% uptake – £5.3m will be needed for the additional meals.

Mr Molyneux said: “It is clearly a transformational policy and it means there will no longer be a need for hunger to be a barrier to children’s learning.

“It will be vital to maximise uptake and also to ensure the greatest nutritional value for young people.”

Mr Cunningham said 90% uptake was “an assumption”. “Our target is 100%”, he added.

“We wish to ensure as many children as possible take advantage of the offer of free school meals. If we achieve 100%, I will be delighted.”