More than 1500 new starts are ready to take their primary one places at Dumfries and Galloway schools this week.
With them 64 probationer teachers took up roles on Monday with 39 in primary schools and 25 in 12 of the region’s 16 secondary schools.
Dumfries and Galloway Council currently offers free school meals to all primary one pupils and from January 2015, free school meals will be available to all P1, P2 and P3 pupils.
Councillor Jeff Leaver, chairman of the education committee, said: “The start of a new academic year is always an exciting time for schools across our region. The new P1s are eagerly embarking on a great journey of discovery.
“Our probationer teachers are preparing to make a positive difference. Our school meals are encouraging children to make better food choices. I wish every pupil and education employee across our region a happy and successful year.”