We're warmly welcoming the guidance on providing school meals during lockdown as there's help available to ensure that free school meal children don't go hungry this lockdown.
The guidance published this evening encourages schools to use their caterers to provide food parcels for free school meal children unable to attend school but there's help where this is impossible. But they've added flexibility to help schools find local solutions to best serve their families.
This flexible approach will be appreciated by schools and reflects calls from school food campaigners! Key points:
The government will continue to provide schools with their expected funding for benefits-related free school meals and universal infant free school meals throughout school closures
Schools can claim an additional £3.50 per week per child to go toward the costs of preparing a food parcel. This brings the funding in line with last lockdown's £15 per week allowance
If a catered offer is not possible, schools can buy vouchers for their families locally and claim to be reimbursed up to £15 per eligible FSM pupil per week.
The support will remain in place until February half term and will be reviewed.
The temporary extension of free school meals to families with no recourse to public funds remains in place.
The national voucher scheme will become available as soon as possible
Support for the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays is already in place for all free school meal children through the Holiday Activity and Fund programme.
More information will follow. We're pleased that this information has come through at last and will post once the guidance for caterers comes through.