Free meals not to experts' taste

Plans to beef up school meal services are out for consultation following the launch of a report by an expert panel, chaired by Michael O'Neill, education director in North Lanarkshire.

The report, Hungry for Success - A Whole-School Approach to School Meals, was released by ministers at the end of June ahead of the parliamentary debate on the provision of free school meals, but has only now gone out for full public consumption. MSPs rejected free meals in favour of the panel's pound;24.1 million package of reforms set to revamp the service over the next four years (TES, June 28).

Mr O'Neill said: "Our interim report sets out a vision for a revitalised school meals service in Scotland and presents a number of far-reaching recommendations to improve the quality and content of school meals, make school lunches more attractive to pupils and improve the take-up, especially for those entitled to a free meal."

Pupils will be asked their views at the start of the new session. The panel's report is on the Scottish Executive website.

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