Guidance

Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Guidance for schools and local authorities on school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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Details

This guidance explains what schools should do when providing school meals from September 2020.

Schools should provide meal options for all pupils who are in school. Meals should be available free of charge to:

  • all infant pupils
  • pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria
Published 19 March 2020
Last updated 23 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added link to guidance on free school meals from the Lead Association for Catering in Education.

  2. Updated the guidance on the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups. This update removes references to the Covid Summer Food Fund and COVID-19 specific terminology.

  3. Updated information on school food from September 2020, universal infant free school meals, additional costs incurred before summer 2020, school food contracts and free school meals eligibility. Also includes guidance on providing water in school and support for pupils who have to stay at home due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

  4. Updated guidance and application form for the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups. This includes the increase in the income threshold from £16,190 per annum to £31,500 per annum for London and £28,200 for areas outside of London.

  5. Updated application form and guidance on the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups. This is to reflect the change in annual household income threshold to £16,190 after tax.

  6. We have added Company Shop Group and Iceland, including The Food Warehouse Stores, to the list of supermarkets you can order eGift cards for.

  7. Added further information on the Covid Summer Food Fund, free meals in further education, the final ordering timescales for the national voucher scheme, ordering vouchers in multiples of £5, and an update on school food contracts to include further guidance from the Cabinet Office on Procurement Policy Note 04/20.

  8. Updated information about providing meals for pupils attending school, the national voucher scheme and providing meals or food parcels through your food provider.

  9. Updated information about claiming for additional costs, providing meals or food parcels through your food provider and ordering vouchers to cover multiple weeks.

  10. Added Aldi and McColl’s to the list of supermarkets taking part in the national voucher scheme.

  11. Added a link to the 16 to 19 free meals in further education guidance and information about Aldi joining the national voucher scheme.

  12. Updated information about school food contracts and free school meal eligibility. Added guidance and a sample application form on the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups.

  13. Added guidance about free school meal support over the Easter holidays.

  14. Added guidance on school food contracts and the national voucher scheme, including how to order. Also added a question and answer section.

  15. Added information for parents about scams.

  16. First published.