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Meals profiteering - 'don't blame us' says WC

January 13, 2021 7:35 AM

The problem of providers profiteering and giving out junk food parcels has resurfaced, this time in the context of Free School Meals, with the national media picking up on the story. Wiltshire Council as the Local Education Authority has striven to distance itself from the debate, blaming school governors for letting down their pupils. Here's the WC statement:

"Cllr Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Children, Education and skills said: "We do not want any child in Wiltshire to go hungry and we are supporting schools to ensure they are aware of all the options for providing Free School Meals available to them.

"Free School Meal catering provision is arranged by schools and they must comply with food standards. The Government has provided guidance on what should go into Free School Meal parcels for a child's lunch for five days. School governors should be monitoring the standard of Free School Meal parcels provided by their school.

"If parents have concerns about the Free School Meal parcels provided, they should contact their child's school."

During the COVID-19 lockdown period, schools will continue to be fully funded as normal for their Free School Meal pupils.

Schools will be expected to make provision for their Free School Meal eligible pupils whether they are attending school or not. The current national funding rate of £450 for each eligible pupil, per year, enables schools to put in place meal arrangements at a cost of up to £2.30 per day.

Funding is paid monthly to schools as part of their overall budget share and is guaranteed each funding year to the school. LA maintained schools receive their funding directly from the LA and academy schools directly from the DfE."