Eadie D, Ford A, Stead M, Chambers S, Boydell N, Moore L & Anderson A (2016) Process evaluation of the implementation of Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) for P1 to P3: Research with Schools and Local Authorities. NHS Health Scotland. Edinburgh. http://www.healthscotland.scot/media/1309/universal-free-school-meals-main-report_march-2016.pdf
In January 2015, Scotland moved from a targeted system of Free School Meals (FSM) to a service providing universal free school meals (UFSM) for all children in Primaries 1 to 3 (P1-3). The targeted system remained for children in P4 and above. Since the launch of Hungry for Success in 2003, a series of policies and guidance has focused on school food reform and nutrient standards. The UFSM policy is set within this context alongside an increased policy focus on reducing health inequalities in Scotland.
A theory of change was developed by NHS Health Scotland for UFSM provision. It was identified that key policy outcomes will be underpinned by a number of assumptions and that achievement of these outcomes will also be influenced by certain external factors. Further, it recognised that the implementation of UFSM may also generate positive and negative unintended consequences.
NHS Health Scotland commissioned a research team from three universities to undertake a process evaluation of the implementation of the UFSM policy. The research was led by the Institute for Social Marketing at the University of Stirling, in collaboration with the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow, and the Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research at the University of Dundee.
The process evaluation comprised three main strands: research with parents, schools and local authorities. This report focuses on the research with schools and local authorities. A detailed report on the research with parents was published in October 2015.