Scottish Government agrees to interim changes to provide milk and healthy snack for all pre-school children

The School and Nursery Milk Alliance has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment agreeing changes and a temporary funding increase to provide a free serving of milk and healthy snack to all children attending pre-school settings in Scotland.

17 February 2022

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The School and Nursery Milk Alliance has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment agreeing changes and a temporary funding increase to provide a free serving of milk and healthy snack to all children attending pre-school settings in Scotland.

The decision by the Scottish Government followed a judicial review at the Court of Session last month. The new Scottish Milk & Healthy Snack Scheme was launched in August 2021 with the aim of providing a free serving of milk and a healthy snack to all children attending pre-school settings in Scotland.

Although the new scheme has worked well for many childcare settings, it had been a challenge for others. The School and Nursery Milk Alliance initially expressed concerns that the new scheme had, albeit unintentionally, left many nurseries and childminders out of pocket, potentially causing children to miss out on their free milk entitlement - the exact opposite of the Scheme’s intention.

Jon Thornes, Chairman of the School and Nursery Milk Alliance, said:

We commend the Scottish Government for taking action to make their great scheme even better. The improved scheme will be more inclusive - we hope that more settings will now register for the scheme in full confidence that they will receive sufficient funding to enable them to provide milk and a healthy snack to their children.

The changes will also benefit those settings that are already registered but were finding that the funding they received was not enough to cover the full cost of providing the milk to their children – the increased funding will really help them. We look forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government as they strive to develop a permanent solution that will ensure that all pre-school children in Scotland can enjoy a free daily serving of milk.”

Last month, the judge, Lord Braid, found in favour of the Alliance, concluding that the government did not undertake a proper consultation on a key aspect of the new scheme, namely the actual funding per child per day, and also that the way that the funding rates were decided was irrational.

Balfour+Manson acted for the School and Nursery Milk Alliance in the initial action against the Scottish Government.

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