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Free school meals - extended over the Summer holidays

Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

Scope community team

Boris Johnson has reversed the decision to end free schools meal vouchers next month. Following intense campaigning by Manchester United star Marcus Rashford, No 10 announced the major U-turn and said vouchers would be available for families over the holiday.

The Independent
In case it's of interest to anyone, it has been announced that the free school meals voucher scheme will be extended over the Summer holidays.

There's been much debate about the scheme in the past and it's interesting that there has been a U-turn after some high-profile campaigning. Has anyone had any problems using the vouchers?
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Scope

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Replies

  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 683 Pioneering
    For those reading Scope, it is great.

    But first thought is that non disabled parents of non disabled children appear not necessarily to be particularly responsible.   Today radio 4 said a large percentage don't  bother to do any home schooling, or ensure their children have done any of the online school exercises,  or been in contact  with  teachers.
    Today they  also reported that people are  losing a fortune in online gambling.
    Throughout  lockdown,  they reported on a great quantity of alcohol being consumed. 
    They reported the drugs market is unabated. 

    Scope will be aware of the other report today,  that parents of disabled children have been dumped, with support withdrawn,  since Covid.    Public and charity money  ought to  go to disabled adults and children before any is spent on subsidies for feckless parents' gambling, drinking and drugs.

    The children of parents who spend their income on drinking, gambling and taking drugs must be highlt likely  to be the same ones whose parents 'can't afford' to feed them, can't be bothered to ensure they do even an hour a week of schoolwork,  , and who go to food banks,  and who want everything they can possibly get from officials or charities,  then still want vouchers.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,254 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi

    That is great news to me being a disabled parent of a teenage son.

    My son does his school work every day without fail however he does not have to submit anything back to school and the content is nothing special. Takes him about an hour to complete 4 lessons a day which are mainly reading slides from subjects he has already done. I supplement this with reading books and completing course workbooks I have bought off the internet suitable for his year/

    His school finally got in touch last week for the first time to see how he was doing ? I know not all schools are like this and are doing more to keep their pupils learning, just depends on the school

    I do not spend my school vouchers on alcohol or fags (in fact they are not valid to be spent on these items ) they are used to supplement providing my son with a nutritional balanced diet
  • Jeanie_ZzJeanie_Zz Member Posts: 6 Connected
    newborn said:
    The children of parents who spend their income on drinking, gambling and taking drugs must be highlt likely  to be the same ones whose parents 'can't afford' to feed them, can't be bothered to ensure they do even an hour a week of schoolwork,  , and who go to food banks,  and who want everything they can possibly get from officials or charities,  then still want vouchers.
    LOL sure. 

    Im glad they have extended it however it doesn’t help everyone. We are entitled to fsm and the voucher scheme but can’t use them because we’re shielding and do our shopping online an they can’t be used online at Tesco. Very discriminatory and targets disabled families 
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 683 Pioneering
    Thanks for replies. Both your responses are exactly what I mean.  My very strong guess would be that disabled parents and disabled children will be extremely likely to be the children and parents who struggle hard enough, both financially  and practically, yet are overlooked.   

    Parents who are disabled,  or whose children  are,  will become all too accustomed  to battling hard,  fighting on behalf of their children, against  systems which are Disablist  by ommission of any  thought, from local or central government.

    It seems obvious they would be the least likely,  of all families, to squander whatever resources  they  do have,. Therefore  thèir children will be most likely to be among the ones schooled, fed, and cared for as well as can possibly be managed.  

    It makes me angry that no popular protest happens about Disablism,  Ageism, or even Sexism.   (And unpaid carers are often in poor health, old, and female,  so that's three reasons they never feature in official planning, or cross the minds of politicians) If you are too weak to be frightening,  you can't riot in the street, so who cares? If you are a cute able bodied child (or kitten!) you hit the emotional  jackpot if a celebrity says you are hungry, so no end of cash comes pouring from the taps.    If you are a hero behind closed doors, you are out of sight and 100% out of mind.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I hope the it works and that people are able to access food over the summer!
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  • christian96christian96 Posts: 101 Member
    Hello!

    In theory this is a great idea. Yet how will it work in real life? My five year old is not eligible for this national scheme as she is not in school. Free school lunches need to be healthy and nutritious particularly for the kids from low income families who are eligible to apply for the national scheme. There are plenty of useful resources for healthy eating which is freely available online for people to look at too. Today earlier on I happened to read a depressing and scary article online posted on the Guardian website about the fate of this essential scheme. It has been a success. No need to interfere or meddle. 
    Glad that he has decided wisely for once!  
    Without that vital initiative in place, many low income parents would really suffer as a result of his decision and some children would be sick for no reason. Not all families have high income careers unfortunately. Ending it is unwise literally. We don't qualify. But if she was deemed eligible to take part I know that I would have the same fears and lots of questions about the fate of the scheme too. Knowing that it could disappear instantly just like that would make me very queasy and frankly rather uneasy about trusting him again. The scheme exists for a reason. 

    I also want to see a free laptop/iPad scheme or initiative established for all pupils of low income families as well. Pupils could be given a free laptop or iPad to use for lessons and homework. This would literally work the same way as the existing free school meals scheme and also dramatically enhance their quality of education. We also already have a popular book scheme that is set up for schools in Britain so why not? Sorry for disrupting this post however. 
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 683 Pioneering
    Good idea. Of course, it must make sense to ensure everyone has internet access, (  elderly, young, rich, poor , disabled  ,isolated or child of feckless parents all included.) 

    Online contact, education (not only for children), and virtual trips round the world's tourist attractions and entertainments can be democratised,  and become disability inclusive,  at last.

    But I really find it difficult to see anomalies and injustices.  The posts here suggest some, of many.   In any taxfunded handout there has to be logic.   
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