Free School Meals

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Kate Osamor Kate Osamor Labour/Co-operative, Edmonton

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government plans to extend free school meal provision into the (a) spring half-term and and (b) summer holidays.

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.

Our latest guidance for schools is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

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. Whether or not such a measure continues to be appropriate in future holiday periods will be confirmed in due course.

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

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