School meals

Swansea Labour Council ensure free school meal choice extended until canteens reopen

The Labour-led Swansea Council is ensuring parents and carers will continue to have a choice over how they access free school meal support when pupils start to return to school in September.

Plans are progressing so that all pupils will return in a phased way in the two-week period at the beginning of the autumn term and all pupils will be full-time by Monday, September 14.

School canteens will not open until September 14 so all pupils attending before then will need to have a packed lunch with them.

Until that date families in Swansea whose children are eligible for free school meals and have chosen to have direct payments made to their bank accounts will still receive the payments so that they can provide packed lunches.

Those that have chosen to receive weekly food bags will continue to receive them during the first two weeks in September.

Labour Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, said: “In Swansea our approach has been to offer parents and carers the choice between weekly food bags or direct payments so they can decide which suits them best.

“We are very grateful that the Welsh Government has continued to fund the free school meal scheme throughout the summer holidays and as a council we have agreed to cover any shortfall during the first two weeks of September until school canteens reopen.”

During the first two weeks of term not all pupils will be in school on all days and as with the ‘Check in, Catch-up and Prepare’ sessions in June and July schools will be contacting parents and pupils directly with the arrangements for every pupil.

The canteens are staying closed because initially staff will be helping with increased cleaning regimes in the schools.

By the time canteens open on September 14 then schools will have more cleaners either through offering extra hours to existing staff or recruiting additional ones.

Swansea Director of Education Nick Williams wrote to all parents and carers when schools broke-up for the summer holiday outlining plans for the September term.

Further updates will follow as pupils prepare to return.

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