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Free School Meals Update

Due to the fast changing situation we found ourselves in last week, we had to implement a last minute solution for those entitled to benefits-related free school meals. As a school we needed to purchase a large number of FSM shopping vouchers and we contacted the local shops to see who could accommodate us. We did our best but only Waitrose would/could do this for us AND they added extras in for us too for which we are very grateful to them for this. Staff then volunteered to hand deliver these for us so that you would have them last week.

This week, the local authority is getting a solution together for all their schools. Some schools are academies and so you may have had a solution from them already if you have older children in other schools. We are awaiting email confirmation and instructions today which will enable us to send eCodes to parents to allow them to, we understand, redeem these for vouchers for their chosen store.  We will need to receive this information and then disseminate vochers/codes to you via email. This is a huge admin task that could take us a while as it is new and we have a large number of parents to communicate with. We will aim to complete this as a priority.

Priority one parents of children in receipt of benefit related free school meals will receive an email from school today (31.03.2020) asking them to confirm their information. Please reply to this email to ensure we have the correct details to enable us to send out eCodes.

What about infants that receive a free meal under universal infant free school meals?

The government has announced that it is right that schools concentrate their effort and resources on those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals at this time. There is no requirement to continue to provide universal infant free school meals to pupils in reception, year 1, or year 2 who are unable to attend school. Children in those year groups who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals will be supported.

Will pupils who become newly eligible for free school meals be supported?

Yes. Schools and local authorities should continue to accept free school meal applications. Parents should make contact with the school or local authority, who will verify eligibility and award free school meals.

What is the eligibility criteria for free school meals?

The eligibility criteria for free school meals can be found here  

https://www.swindon.gov.uk/info/20032/schools_and_education/408/free_school_meals

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