School and local authority characteristics associated with take-up of free school meals in Scottish secondary schools, 2014

Chambers, S. , Dundas, R. and Torsney, B. (2016) School and local authority characteristics associated with take-up of free school meals in Scottish secondary schools, 2014. Contemporary Social Science, 11(1), pp. 52-63. (doi:10.1080/21582041.2016.1223871) (PMID:28191363) (PMCID:PMC5259801)

Chambers, S. , Dundas, R. and Torsney, B. (2016) School and local authority characteristics associated with take-up of free school meals in Scottish secondary schools, 2014. Contemporary Social Science, 11(1), pp. 52-63. (doi:10.1080/21582041.2016.1223871) (PMID:28191363) (PMCID:PMC5259801)

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Abstract

School meals are an important state-delivered mechanism for improving children’s diets. Scottish local authorities have a statutory duty to provide free school meals (FSM) to families meeting means-testing criteria. Inevitably take-up of FSM does not reach 100%. Explanations put forward to explain this include social stigma, as well as a more general dissatisfaction amongst pupils about lack of modern facilities and meal quality, and a preference to eat where friends are eating. This study investigated characteristics associated with take-up across Scottish secondary schools in 2013–2014 using multilevel modelling techniques. Results suggest that stigma, food quality and the ability to eat with friends are associated with greater take-up. Levels of school modernisation appeared less important, as did differences between more urban or rural areas. Future studies should focus on additional school-level variables to identify characteristics associated with take-up, with the aim of reducing the number of registered pupils not taking-up FSM.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dundas, Ms Ruth and Chambers, Dr Stephanie and Torsney, Dr Bernard
Authors: Chambers, S., Dundas, R., and Torsney, B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics
Journal Name:Contemporary Social Science
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:2158-2041
ISSN (Online):2158-205X
Published Online:30 September 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Contemporary Social Science 11(1):52-63
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.347

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
620221MRC SPHSU/GU Transfer FellowshipsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_13027IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727661SPHSU Core Renewal: Complexity in Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/14IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU