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School Meal 20p Increase - Help Available


From 1 April 2023 the cost of a school meal in our primary and secondary schools will rise by 20 pence per meal.

This means that the charge in our primary schools will be £2.35 per meal and in secondary schools it will be £2.45 per meal.

The cost includes a two-course lunch and a drink of either water or milk in primary schools, and a two-course lunch in secondary schools. Our secondary schools also provide a range of individually priced grab and go items for pupils.

Free school meals to the equivalent value are available to children and young people if their parents / carers are in receipt of a qualifying benefit. Grants are also available for uniforms and clothing.

Parents and carers can pre-book meals for primary school children. The system called ParentPay allows bookings to be made up to three weeks in advance. Pre-ordering is also available in secondary schools via the Vericool pre-order app, which allows pupils to purchase common grab and go items without the need to queue.

For more information on ParentPay, free school meals and grants visit

Councillor Martin Kilbride, Buildings, Housing and Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "We appreciate that any price increases at the moment are difficult for families, so we have softened the increase as much as possible. We want people to know that support is available to them, so I would encourage families who are struggling to apply for free school meals through our website."

Councillor Stephen Ferry, Education Portfolio Holder said: "We know the cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone across South Ayrshire. We've therefore made sure to keep any price rises to a minimum and I trust that parents and carers understand the pressure that has led to this increase. Providing young people with the best start in life is one of our main priorities, and good quality and well-balanced school meals supports wellbeing and allows pupils to focus on their education."