Universal free school meals should be rolled out as part of the Scottish Government’s emergency response to the cost-of-living crisis, Scotland’s largest teaching union has said.

The EIS union said free school meals should be extended to all pupils in primary and secondary schools.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement last week that work is beginning on extending free meals to all primary pupils “underscores the indisputable need for swift action to ensure that every child and young person attending school can be provided daily with at least one school meal, or with the means to buy one.”

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the current provision for P1-5 pupils is “the most generous free school meal entitlement anywhere in the UK” and added that the expansion to P6 and P7 pupils would be supported by funding of £30 million to expand catering and dining facilities.

Ms Somerville also pointed to the increase in the Scottish Child Payment to £25 per eligible child per week from November.