Voucher Scheme for Free School Meals – Available from 20th April
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am aware you will have seen in the news that schools will be able to offer vouchers to families where children are entitled to free school meals. We received our email from the government yesterday regarding the Free School Meals voucher scheme. The scheme is mainly for schools who cannot provide lunches for collection, or are closed. We have been able to provide daily packed lunches since 23rd March for children, with support from North Tyneside Catering Services.
As a school, working closely with the Local Authority, we did not want to wait for the government to decide how they were going to support free school meals so have been offering packed lunches for collection daily (for Reception, Y1, Y2 and any other children who are also eligible for free school meals) since the first day of closure on 23rd March.
The voucher scheme is not available over the Easter holidays which is why we plan to start it from Monday 20th April.
What will happen over the Easter holidays for school lunches?
We will continue to provide a daily packed lunch for all Reception, Y1, Y2 and registered free school meals children just as we have been doing since 23rd March. These will continue to be available from the school main entrance between 11:30-12:30 daily (including the two bank holidays).
Is my child eligible for the voucher scheme?
From after the Easter holidays (Monday 20th April), we would like to also offer the voucher scheme. Please note the vouchers are not available for those currently in receipt of Universal Free School Meals (children in Reception, Y1 and Y2), but for those who are entitled to benefits-related Free School Meals (any children who are eligible from Reception to Y6).
Your child is eligible for free school meals if you receive any of the following benefits:
We have a register of all of our pupils who meet the criteria and are therefore eligible. However, there are some families where children may be eligible for free school meals but a parent or carer has not applied e.g. the older child is eligible but the younger child is not because families have not applied for free school meals. We will be contacting parents/carers directly if we feel you might be missed off the list.
My child is in Reception, Y1 or Y2 and I don’t meet the criteria above. What will be available for them?
We will continue to provide a packed lunch for collection daily from school (throughout the Easter holidays too) for every child in Reception, Y1 or Y2 who are not eligible for free school meals. This will continue for as long as it is needed.
I think my child is eligible for free school meals – how do I apply?
In order to apply for free school meals you can:
- click this link or type it into your internet browser and complete the online form
- or ring 0191 643 2288
How will the voucher scheme work?
Vouchers would be purchased by school for those who are eligible using the Government’s online portal and an Ecode sent to parents via email. The eGift card vouchers could be printed at home or shown on a smartphone at an identified supermarket. Parents can then choose the supermarket for their voucher. Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S are currently registered with the scheme. The vouchers will only be issued during term time.
What do I need to do now?
Please could you email school firstname.lastname@example.org with the following response inserting yours and your child/ children's name as appropriate.
My name is: ____________________ (name of parent/carer)
I can confirm I am the parent or carer of _____________________ (name of child/children):
I can confirm that this is my correct email address: ____________________
We thank you in advance for your cooperation and your patience. There will be no change to the packed lunch offer for the rest of this week and the two weeks of the Easter holidays.