What are children supposed to get in lockdown?

Jan 12, 2021 editor

As taken from the Government online guidance and BBC news report.


Schools must provide food for pupils attending in person if they normally qualify for free school meals.

If they are at home, they can receive food parcels or vouchers.

In England, schools are "strongly encouraged" to send food parcels rather than vouchers. Schools using this option get an extra £3.50 per week, per child, on top of the funding they usually receive for free school meals in term time.

The government says these parcels should:

  • contain food items rather than pre-prepared meals
  • minimise fridge and freezer space needed
  • contain items which parents can use to prepare healthy lunches
  • not rely on parents having extra ingredients at home to prepare meals
  • not contain items restricted under school food standards
  • cater for special diets where necessary including allergies, vegetarians or religious diets
  • contain food packaged in household rather than wholesale sizes

If schools can't offer food parcels they can consider "other local arrangements," including vouchers for local shops and supermarkets.

Schools can claim back up to £15 per pupil, per week, for these vouchers, on top of their usual free school meals funding.

The government also says it will reopen its national voucher scheme "as soon as possible". This will provide supermarket vouchers through an online portal.