Today's blog outlines the launch of a national voucher scheme aimed at children eligible for free school meals while schools are closed due to coronavirus.
National voucher scheme launch
On Tuesday 31 March, we launched the national voucher scheme allowing more flexibility for children eligible for free school meals to access meals whilst they stay at home.
The plans unveiled by the Education Secretary today mean schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at a range of shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S, with the Department working to get more shops to join the scheme as soon as possible.
Where possible, school kitchens should stay open to provide free school meals either through delivery or food parcels. However, we know this can be
Challenging which is why all children can now either get a meal or vouchers, so that headteachers have flexible options so they can decide what is best for families at their schools.
There has been wide spread and largely positive coverage of the announcements today in the Times, Metro, the I, Telegraph, Mirror, Independent, Express, BBC online, Sky News, ITV News, Evening Standard, Schools Week and BBC Breakfast.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
I recognise that the unprecedented action this Government is taking to protect the country from coronavirus, including closing schools, is dramatically affecting the lives of many families.
I want to thank schools for the support they are continuing to provide to families during such uncertain times.
No child should go hungry as a result of the measures introduced to keep people at home, protect the NHS and save lives. That’s why we are launching this scheme to make sure children who usually benefit from free school meals still have access to healthy and nutritious meals while they are not attending school.