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COVID-19: Free School Meals Voucher Scheme


On 31 March 2020, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department for Education launched a voucher scheme to help give the 1.4 million children in England eligible for free school meals continued access to meals while they were not attending school.

Schools joining the scheme can order shopping vouchers worth £15 per week for each eligible pupil. Parents can spend the vouchers at one of eight (expanded from an initial six) supermarket chains.

This inquiry will examine the findings of the NAO investigation into the free school meals voucher scheme, including the Department’s objectives and choice of contractor to run it; the scheme’s performance; and its forecast and actual costs.

The Committee will question senior officials at the Department for Education on the operation of the free school meals scheme, and whether it is meeting its objectives and providing value for money.

If you have evidence on these issues please submit it here before 6.00pm on Thursday 10 December.