Coronavirus: Passmores Head asks if students on free school meals can use vouchers if school closes

Covid-19 / Thu 12th Mar 2020 am31 09:21am

A HARLOW headteacher has asked whether the families of students on free school meals can be given supermarket vouchers to make sure they still get fed during any shutdown of schools because of the coronavirus reports the Times Education Supplement (TES).

Vic Goddard, co-principal of Passmores Academy in Harlow, told Tes he expected schools to be shut for two weeks leading into the Easter holidays and wanted to ensure that students are fed.

He said: “I expect that a decision to close school will taken next Friday or possibly even this Friday, and I want something in place so the funding we get for free school meals is spent on the pupils.

“I get £2.30 per pupil per day and if we close for 10 days, that is £23. I don’t want that money to be sitting in our account or being clawed back by the local authority – it should be spent on the children.

“I have asked our auditors, the council and the Education Skills and Funding Agency: is there anything to stop us doing this? I know we can’t guarantee that the voucher would be spent on food, but it’s a solution.”

Vic Goddard has asked whether schools can use supermarket vouchers to feed pupils during a Coronavirus shutdown of schools

Mr Goddard said he had already received a positive response from school leaders after posting the idea on Twitter.

“Schools are trying to come up with answers but, of course, it shouldn’t be down to individual schools to resolve this. There should be guidance on what should happen from the Department for Education but I haven’t seen any yet.”

The full article can be found here


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