Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes

(asked on 15th October 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to extend free school meal vouchers in England to include the October 2020 half term.


Answered by
Vicky Ford Portrait
Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
This question was answered on 22nd October 2020

The free school meal (FSM) provision has supported children to access a healthy, nutritious meal to help them learn, concentrate and achieve, while they are at school, for more than a century. This provision is ingrained in the fabric of everyday school life. Now that our schools are fully open, this support has returned as normal. Provision for FSM is ordinarily term time only and there is no requirement for schools to continue this provision during school holidays. Therefore the National Voucher scheme has closed.

School leaders have worked incredibly hard during the COVID-19 outbreak and it is not reasonable to also ask them to provide food when they are closed for the holidays. However, we recognise the current challenges, and that is why we have significantly strengthened the welfare safety net. The government has injected more than £9 billion into the welfare system, including an increase to Universal Credit of up to £1,040 (£20 a week) for this financial year, and putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets through increases to the Local Housing Allowance. These are in addition to income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters.

These welfare measures sit alongside our extensive support package, including income protection schemes which have so far protected 12 million jobs and people, at a cost of almost £53 billion. Further to this, we provided an extra £63 million for local authorities to provide discretionary financial help to those in need.

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Recent Documents related to Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes

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Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes

1. Free School Meals
21/10/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: continue directly funding provision of free school meals over the school holidays until Easter 2021 to prevent - Speech Link
2: need a measure that will take us through this half term and the remainder of this academic year. We understand - Speech Link
3: children in Slough who are known to require free school meals. Does she agree that if feeding those children - Speech Link

2. Child Food Poverty
24/05/2021 - Westminster Hall

1: Poverty, HC 1112. Correspondence with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on Child Food Poverty - Speech Link
2: Standards Agency and in many other countries, is to ask people three straightforward questions: have you - Speech Link

3. Supporting Disadvantaged Families
09/11/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: scheme, increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers, and the national roll-out of the holiday activities - Speech Link

4. Remote Education and Free School Meals
18/01/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: believes that families need more support during school and college closures; and that those eligible should - Speech Link
2: believes that families need more support during school and college closures; and that those eligible should - Speech Link

5. Support for Children Entitled to Free School Meals
26/05/2021 - Westminster Hall

1: considered support for children entitled to free school meals.It is a pleasure to serve under - Speech Link

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asked by: Stephen Timms
26/02/2019
... what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the payment to providers for universal free infant school meals above the current rate of £2.30 per meal which has applied since 2014.

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asked by: Theresa Villiers
09/09/2020
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