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Bevan Foundation welcomes additional funds to support the provision of Free School Meals

April 22nd 2020

The Bevan Foundation welcomes the Education Minister’s announcement that £33m will be made available to support local authorities as they provide free school meals whilst school are closed

The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams AM announced on April 22nd that local authorities in Wales will be provided with £33 million to allow them to continue delivering Free School Meals whilst schools are shut due to the coronavirus. In making the announcement the Education Minister published revised guidance for local authorities on how children should be supported through this period. Whilst it is down to each local authority to decide how they wish to provide Free School Meals the guidance recommends that authorities follow one of three approaches:

  • The provision of vouchers to families
  • Delivery of food items to families
  • Transfer of funds to the bank accounts of families.

As of the 22nd of April, 15 local authorities already had cash systems in place or had announced proposals to introduce such a system by May 4th. Some of these authorities did retain an option for families to receive support via food parcels or by the payment of vouchers.

The Bevan Foundation believes that, following, today’s announcement, all local authorities in Wales should provide families with the option of receiving cash payments in lieu of Free School Meals. This case is especially pressing in areas where the local authorities still operate a grab and go system.

 

 

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