The commitment was originally due to be delivered by last August, but a previous decision by the Scottish Government delayed the roll-out.
This year’s Scottish Budget, published recently, revealed that the universal roll-out of free school meals for P6 and P7 will now be delayed by a further two years, until 2024.
Andrea Bradley, EIS general secretary said: “Delaying the roll-out of free school meals to all primary school children was a shameful decision, which runs contrary to the Scottish Government’s stated commitment to tackling child poverty.
"This is now the second time that the roll-out of this hugely important policy has been delayed, with serious consequences for thousands of children and families across Scotland.
"It is also extremely disappointing how this change in policy came to light – not announced in Parliament, but obscured within the detail of the budget document itself. In a country where more than one child in four lives in poverty, and with the cost-of-living crisis pushing ever more families into financial difficulty, it is more important than ever that universal free school meals should be a priority.”
The EIS has long called for the roll-out of universal free school meals for all young people. In addition to completing the roll-out to all primary pupils, the EIS believes that all secondary school pupils should also receive free school meals.