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BGGS staff speak out about meal voucher delays

Families of students entitled to free school meals have had to wait for the £15 supermarket promised by the Government.

These vouchers, which are designed to replace daily free school dinners, were supposed to be available to families from the start of the Easter holidays. However, there have been considerable delays after the Government's supplier, Edenred, under estimated the demand. 

We have been regularly texting and emailing our free school meal families to provide them with updates. The front page of the school website has also been regularly refreshed with information about progress or lack of it.

We have complained to the Department for Education and have tried to get things moving faster. Mr Clements-Wheeler, our Director of Support Services has even been quoted in two national newspapers about the unacceptable delay.

Links to the articles in The Guardian and the specialist newspaper Schools Week can be found here:

https://schoolsweek.co.uk/dfe-urges-schools-to-stop-checking-swamped-free-meal-voucher-website-as-system-labelled-farcical/

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/apr/09/uks-poorest-families-suffering-as-free-school-meal-vouchers-delayed

One good point to note for our families is that the provision of the interim vouchers by Birmingham City Council means that there were vouchers for all our families last week - which has meant no one was without funds to buy food. However, that scheme has now ended and the Government back scheme is still beset by problems and this week's vouchers have not been issued.