We finally received clarity from the Government regarding the publicised Free School Meals voucher scheme. We have also contacted the Local Authority for some further guidance about their approach.
Packed lunches will continue to be available over the Easter holidays, should you wish to collect them.
Who will be able to receive vouchers?
We are in the process of registering to be able to organise vouchers for eligible families. This is a significant task. Vouchers will ONLY be available for children whose families are registered as being entitled to benefits-related Free School Meals.
Who will NOT be able to receive vouchers?
This means that if you have a child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 who usually gets a school meal but you are not registered for benefits-related Free School Meals then you will NOT receive vouchers.
What can you do if you think you might be eligible but are not yet registered?
Some of you will already have been eligible, but won’t have registered as your child was receiving a free lunch anyway. For many others, this challenging situation may have changed your financial situation and you may now have become eligible.
The eligibility criteria for free school meals can be found here. PLEASE REGISTER TO SEE IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE!
Our school office will have access to the names of children who registered and who meet the criteria, and who are eligible for the voucher payments.
How will the voucher scheme work?
Our understanding is that the vouchers would be issued via email and can be printed at home or shown on a smartphone at an identified supermarket. Vouchers are to be purchased by each school for those who are registered as eligible using the Government’s online portal. An e-code is then sent to parents. Parents can then choose the supermarket for their voucher; Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S are currently registered with the scheme. It is expected that others will follow.
When will vouchers start to be sent out?
As vouchers will be ordered by us once a week, it is ESSENTIAL that anyone who might be eligible registers by Friday THIS week.
Vouchers will only be issued during term time. We expect the first vouchers to be sent out early in the first week after Easter. This is the beginning 20th April 2020.
After Friday, once we know who currently eligible, we will then begin the lengthy task of registering families on the portal and begin to order vouchers. We think we may need parents’ emails. If this is the case, then at that point, we will contact those of you who are eligible and ask for the email address of the primary carer for each child.
We will update you with further information as and when we receive it.