Children eligible for free school meals can benefit from a national voucher scheme whilst they stay at home. This delivers on the Government’s commitment to provide ongoing support for the 1.3 million children that would receive benefits-related free school meals at their school.
Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.
Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access.
Parents will receive the voucher through their child’s school, which can then be redeemed online via a code, or sent to their house as a gift card and used at supermarkets across the country.
Today, schools will receive an email from the Department for Education’s chosen supplier, Edenred, explaining how to access and administer the voucher scheme locally.
Full details of this scheme can be found here:
Yesterday, the Prime Minister addressed the nation on coronavirus (COVID-19) and asked people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
There is no change in guidance for education settings, which remain closed except for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. We continue to ask that parents keep their children at home, wherever possible.
The full stay at home guidance is available at:
The government has published a full range of support measures for UK employers and employees:
The information outlines how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Latest Department for Education information:
The Department of Education (DfE) has launched a new helpline for schools to answer education-related questions about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
The helpline is open on 0800 046 8687 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and is available to staff, parents and young people. Alternatively, you can email: DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org
There are no positive COVID-19 cases in the South West, but our local health and care services are well prepared with well-rehearsed plans in place to deal with any potential outbreaks.
We would like to reassure people that, should a case be confirmed anywhere in the country, Public Health England would contact all those who have come into close contact with them and give specific advice of what action to take.
The most recent advice (25 February) states that if you have travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and are experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
If you have returned from these specific areas since February 19, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:
If you have returned from the following areas since February 19 and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.
Please refer to available guidance above for advice. If you still have questions regarding COVID you can contact the Public Health England Acute Response Centre on 0300 303 8162, as you would normally for infectious disease advice, but go through to their coronavirus helpline.
Further guidance is available online:
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