Free School Meals update 9.4.20
Knowsley Council were keen to ensure all children who previously enjoyed free school meals continued to receive a suitable lunch during the Coronavirus crisis and acted to achieve this before any Government guidelines were produced. The Council immediately made available a packed lunch collection service but once social distancing was enforced, by the Government, this swiftly moved to an electronic voucher system using Wonde. The Council wanted to align the payment to a meal deal rate of £3 per day, however, the Wonde system could only accept a value of vouchers to a fortnightly rate of £32.20 (primary) and £32.90 ( secondary). The Government subsequently released their guidance on how schools should address free school meals setting a national £3 per day voucher value that they consider appropriate for a lunch. The Council has set its rate the same as the national rate and Wonde have amended their system to enable this rate to be paid. However, it is important to note that whilst the government will only fund the 7,000 Pupil Premium FSM entitled pupils, the Council has agreed to fund all 10,700 pupils on both Universal Infant FSM as well as those on Pupil Premium FSM.