Secondary school pupils in East Ayrshire will have access to half price meals from August, the local authority has announced.

Earlier this year a decision was taken to introduce half price school meals for all young people from Primary 6 to S6 from August 2023.

The final details of the scheme were ratified, and the initiative signed off, earlier this week

The free school meal programme, which has been in place since January 2022, will continue for P1’s to P5’s and following a decision taken by Cabinet in March 2023.

The price of an average two course lunch within primary schools will be around £1.08.

Within secondary schools a meal deal offer will be priced at £1.08 and there will still be an opportunity to buy items at interval and lunchtime at the current retail prices.

Children and young people who receive free school meals due to family income will be unaffected by these changes.

Councillors had last year been looking at ways to deal with debt that had built up from school meals since the beginning of the pandemic.

It was agreed that a full report on how parents could be helped with the management of their school meal payments.

READ MORE: Support for families struggling with East Ayrshire school meals debt

Councillor Clare Maitland, the authority's spokesperson for planning, human resources and property, said: “Tackling the cost of living crisis is a priority for the council and an important decision we took at cabinet in March to help local families, was to introduce half price school meals for children and young people from P6 right through to S6.

"I am delighted that the details have now been finalised and approved by the cabinet and that from August our children and young people will be able to enjoy a high quality and nutritious two course lunch for just £1.08.

"Within our early child centres children learn about food and new tastes while enjoying eating together; our older children and young people learn about sustainability and have access to nutritious food that can help them to concentrate in class and achieve their full potential."