Lunch club boost for kids

SLC to help those in de­prived ar­eas

Rutherglen Reformer - - Special Feature - Dou­glas Dickie

Two of Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang’s most de­prived ar­eas could ben­e­fit from hol­i­day lunch clubs once this year’s bud­get pack­age is passed.

Pri­mary school chil­dren in Spring­hall and Whit­law­burn will be among those el­i­gi­ble.

The pro­posal could help en­sure that chil­dren con­tinue to ac­cess healthy and nu­tri­tious meals through the sum­mer when ac­cess to free school meals is not avail­able.

As well as pro­vid­ing lunch, the pro­gramme will in­clude a range of ac­tiv­i­ties de­signed to en­cour­age chil­dren to be ac­tive dur­ing the sum­mer pe­riod.

The coun­cil could also cre­ate free break­fast clubs across all schools in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang.

These will be im­ple­mented in a num­ber of schools as a pilot, and if suc­cess­ful could even­tu­ally be rolled out across the re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to the last bud­get re­port to the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee: “En­sur­ing a child en­joys a healthy break­fast can lead to im­proved learn­ing and at­ten­dance.”

Both projects will cost the coun­cil £500,000.

The rul­ing SNP group at the coun­cil claimed credit for the move.

Chair of the ed­u­ca­tion re­sources com­mit­tee and Cam­bus­lang East coun­cil­lor, Katy Loudon, said: “Work­ing to­wards ed­u­ca­tional ex­cel­lence for all and clos­ing the gap in at­tain­ment be­tween young peo­ple from our most and least de­prived com­mu­ni­ties is a defin­ing mis­sion of the SNP.

“We will there­fore bring for­ward a bud­get that in­tro­duces free break­fast clubs in South La­nark­shire’s pri­mary schools over the com­ing year.

“We also recog­nise that ex­ist­ing ar­range­ments are in place at some schools and will work with or­gan­i­sa­tions and com­mu­ni­ties to en­sure that our pro­pos­als sup­port their ex­ist­ing ef­forts.

“To com­ple­ment this pro­posal, the SNP will also ask coun­cil­lors from all par­ties to back our am­bi­tious plans to in­tro­duce hol­i­day lunch clubs in our most de­prived com­mu­ni­ties.

“As well as giv­ing pupils the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess nu­tri­tious meals when free school meals are not avail­able, the clubs will pro­vide a range of en­gag­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to keep our young peo­ple fit.”

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