Free school meal payments are being made to qualifying Dundee families to cover the Christmas holiday as part of the city’s efforts to combat the ongoing impact of coronavirus.
Around 6,000 children will be covered by the scheme, which will pay £11.25 per child per week of the holiday directly to family bank accounts.
Dundee City Council nurseries and schools will be closed for the originally-planned fortnight holiday from noon on Wednesday December 23. Lessons will resume on Thursday January 7, 2021.
Eligibility is for nursery children included on a housing benefit/council tax reduction claim and pupils in P1-3 who receive the school clothing grant. Payments will be made for pupils from P4 to S6 based on free school meal entitlement.
Children and families service convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “I am pleased that this scheme is covering the Christmas break as I know this made a big difference to families through lockdown and the summer and October holidays.
“We know the impact that these payments have made to many families, with several parents getting in touch with us to share their appreciation of this valuable support.
“This has been a tough year for people, but especially for our most vulnerable families.”
Arrangements are also being put in place between the council’s children and families service and NHS Tayside’s public health team should coronavirus contact tracing be needed into the holiday period for any nursery or school related cases.
Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.