Learning from the implementation of Universal Free School Meals in Scotland using Normalisation Process Theory: Lessons for policymakers to engage multiple stakeholders

In 2014/15, Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) were introduced in Scotland and England for children in their first three years of primary school. This study examined the implementation of UFSM in Scotland using Normalisation Process Theory (NPT), a middle-range theory of implementation, to identify areas of learning for policymakers wishing to introduce or extend similar policies. NPT is predominantly used to evaluate interventions or new technologies in healthcare settings. Qualitative data were collected across Scotland using a case study approach shortly after implementation (n = 29 school-level stakeholders) and in the following school year (n = 18 school-level stakeholders and n = 19 local authority-level stakeholders).