UPDATE: Free School Meals Vouchers

UPDATE: Free School Meals Vouchers

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

Coretta Scott King

Dear parents and carers:

The government has set up a system to issue FSM vouchers to eligible families on 31st March 2020.

However, their website was unprepared for the thousands of FSM enquiries that they have received and unfortunately, it crashed.

Consequently, similar to many thousands of schools, we have had trouble in giving our parents their child’s FSM voucher. In addition to the failure of the online system, there was also insufficient telephone help support for enquires.

Prior to the school closure, we distributed FSM vouchers to our eligible families from the school office. We gave out £10 vouchers on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th March, which was the value of a weekly school meal.

When the government released their scheme, they said that schools could claim up to £3 per day per child, which is why the value has increased from £10 to £15. The following table summarises what you are entitled to and how you will receive it:

Week beginning

Type of voucher

Method of delivery

Amount

20th March

Sainsbury’s gift voucher

Collection from school

£10.00

27th March

Edenred electronic voucher

Code emailed to parents

£15.00

6th April

No FSM vouchers – Easter Holiday

13th April

No FSM vouchers – Easter Holiday

20th April

Sainsbury’s gift voucher

Collection from school

£15.00

27th April

Edenred electronic voucher

Code emailed to parents

£15.00

Having complained to the DfE, these were their comments:

“We are working tirelessly with Edenred to resolve any outstanding technical problems so that children eligible for free schools meals are supported quickly.”

“We thank schools for their patience while we expand the system to meet the high demand.”

Please visit the school this week and collect your child’s voucher. Office staff will assist you on Wednesday 29th April between 9am and 11am. All uncollected vouchers for the week beginning 20th and 27th April will be posted.

Please remember that the vouchers are to be used to purchase food for your eligible child / children and must not be used to purchase other products such as clothing, cigarettes or alcohol.

We empathise with your frustration at accessing your child’s FSM voucher and we apologise for the delay. These are unprecedented times and we appreciate your support as we navigate these new systems.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Dyer