FREE school meals for low-income families are set to continue during lockdown until March, Boris Johnson has confirmed.The PM said schools will not be
FREE school meals for low-income families are set to continue during lockdown until March, Boris Johnson has confirmed.
The PM said schools will not be able to open after February half term – but he said he hopes they will be able to go back by March 8.
The statement in the House of Commons follows last night’s news that the UK passed the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths due to the pandemic.
Boris Johnson said today: “Our plan for leaving the lockdown will set out our approach for reopening schools.
“If we achieve our target of vaccinating everyone in the four most vulnerable groups, with their first dose by February 15, and every passing day sees more progress towards that goal.
“Then those groups that have developed immunity from the virus about three weeks later, that is, by the March 8, we hope it will therefore be safe to begin the reopening of schools from Monday, March 8.”
It came as:
What is the current free school meals scheme?
So far under lockdown three, millions of children across the UK who are eligible for free school meals have continued to get them.
The government has continued to fund the scheme, and parents of children who usually get free meals can get supermarket vouchers worth £15 per week, per child.
Alternatively, schools can claim up to £3.50 per pupil, per week, on top of their usual funding to provide food parcels.
The government is urging schools to use this approach wherever possible, but it is ultimately up to each establishment to decide whether to send vouchers or parcels.
Will free school meals continue under lockdown?
Boris Johnson has confirmed the food parcels and vouchers will continue until March 8.
We have asked the Government for more details and will update you as soon as we can.
Earlier this month, the Department of Education told schools not to provide meal vouchers to families during the February half-term.
Instead, parents will have to apply to their local council to access free school meals through the Government’s Covid Winter Grant scheme, worth £170million.
How do I apply for free school meals?
How you claim the free school meals depends on where you live.
For example, you can either get a form to fill in from your school, call your local council or fill in an online form.
Start by entering your postcode into the Gov.uk website to see what the process is in your area.
It’s worth pointing out that if you claim housing benefit or council tax support you can apply for free school meals when you are filling out your forms.
How do I get free school meals or vouchers?
Your child’s school will decide what form of free meals support is offered.
If it is offering the voucher scheme, you’ll get £15 worth of vouchers to spend on your kids lunches.
Like with the previous voucher schemes, the Department for Education has confirmed it’s working with Edenred UK to supply the gift cards.
As per the old voucher schemes, schools are required to contact Edenred.
Once the vouchers have been confirmed, schools should then be able to send e-gift cards to eligible families.
The vouchers can be spent in the following supermarkets:
- Company Shop Group
- Alternatively, schools can send out food to children using their regular in-house catering team, a local meal delivery service or private catering provider.
Schools will have their costs covered by the DfE.
If your kids qualify for free school meals, your school can claim up to £3.50 per eligible pupil a week, on top of their usual funding, to provide food parcels.
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If you want to know more about how to get free school meals, we’ve put together a helpful guide for families.
And here’s eight things you should know about the free school meals scheme.
Marcus Rashford blasted the free schools parcels that were sent out to families earlier this month as “not good enough”.