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Free School Meals Vouchers will be available over the Easter Holidays

The government has today made a U-turn on its refusal to pay for free school meal vouchers over Easter – saying they will now be available to “support household income”.

Former education secretary Michael Gove, speaking at today’s coronavirus briefing, also said the government is “conscious more must be done”, particularly over holidays, to help children at risk and in need.

He said: “We will be saying more next week about work in this area.”

To read the article from Schools Week in full, pease visit

Please see the link below for the full DfE update on Free School Meals (FSM) and Covid 19.


The national scheme will be of use for any schools who have wanted to set up a food voucher scheme but have been waiting for national guidance before doing so. The vouchers can be emailed to families, printed off for them to collect or forwarded to local supermarkets to be accessed directly. It’s important to ensure you communicate with parents and carers that the vouchers are to be used for food, and not products such as alcohol or cigarettes.

The vouches will be of the value of £15 per week per FSM eligible child.

How to order vouchers

  • You will be able to access the voucher scheme using the Edenred portal.
  • Edenred will send schools an activation email, explaining how to access the portal and order vouchers.
  • The email will be sent on Tuesday 31 March to the email address DfE holds for your school.
  • If you have not received the email by Thursday 2 April, please check your ‘junk’ folder then email Edenred
  • Once you have activated your account on the Edenred portal, you can begin to create vouchers. Edenred will provide schools with a step-by-step guide to ordering vouchers through their online portal.

If you already have your own scheme up and running, that’s fine. There’s no need for to switch to the national model as the DfE have reassured us that they’ll still meet the costs of any reasonable local initiative.

If your school is already providing meals or has a procedure for collecting meals in place, then you are able to consider a combined approach. Please speak with your Catering Provider to discuss this.

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