Commenting on the Labour Party’s Urgent Question in the House of Commons today (Weds) calling for clarity over free school meal provision during the summer holidays, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

“The public have made their support for ensuring children receive school meals in the holidays and during the pandemic really clear. More than one million people signed Marcus Rashford’s petition last year calling on Government to expand eligibility and access to Free School Meals. 

'The Government is allowing many disadvantaged children and young people to fall through the gaps. All families who are entitled to Free School Meal support need access to a system of cash or vouchers to ensure that they can access food for their child. All eligible children must be able to access food and nutrition during the school holidays. 

'The Government's neglect of children and young people most in need has been shocking during this pandemic. The DfE just must get better at planning ahead and making arrangements that work well for schools and families. We need the DfE to act now, before the end of term, to clarify arrangements for the summer holidays in terms of access to meals”.