Free school meal vouchers to continue over Easter

The government has announced that the free school voucher scheme will be extended in England over the two-week Easter holiday.

When it was first announced, ministers said qualifying families could claim shopping vouchers of £15 a week per child, but only in term time. However, now Michael Gove has confirmed that the vouchers would continue to be paid over the Easter holidays.

The vouchers can be spent on food at a range of shops including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S, with the Department for Education working to get more shops to join the scheme as soon as possible.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the leaders' union NAHT, said: “We know that for many children, lunch at school is their only hot meal of the day and, in some cases, their only meal full stop. The government is doing the right thing in stepping forward and making sure all children can continue to access the food they need."