Free School Meals: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 6th May 2020.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will fund the centrally-funded national voucher scheme to support free school meal provision during the covid-19 outbreak for families of pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals in the Whitsun school holiday week in May 2020.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, during the Easter holidays the department met the costs of offering free school meals to eligible pupils not attending school during term time weeks. This was in recognition of the unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty for schools during this time. We currently have no plans to extend the scheme into future holiday periods.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

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