Parents and carers whose children may be eligible to receive Free School Meals due to the family’s financial circumstances are being urged to apply for them ahead of the upcoming April school holidays, even if their child is in Years R, 1 or 2.
The Government announced this month that it was extending the Covid Winter Grant Scheme until Friday, April 16 to allow local authorities to help vulnerable families feed their children and keep them warm during the Easter holiday period.
Kent County Council will use some of its share of the money to provide families with one £15 voucher per eligible child per week of the two-week holiday, which can be spent in supermarkets and local shops.
Even if a child receives Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) during term-time, because they are in Year 2 or below, eligible families will still need to apply for benefits-related Free School Meals in order to receive vouchers during the Easter break.
Both primary and secondary schools receive additional Government funding, called Pupil Premium, for each of their pupils who receive benefits-related Free School Meals. Schools use this funding to support pupils’ learning so signing up for Free School Meals will likely benefit a number of pupils in addition to parents and carers’ own children.
Schools will allocate the vouchers to their pupils, as they have done during previous holiday periods, so parents and carers should direct any enquiries to their child’s school.
The scheme was launched towards the end of 2020 and vouchers were issued to families for the December school holidays and February half-term.
Find out more about who is eligible and how to apply here: https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/schools/free-school-meals