Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, commenting on reports of administrative difficulties with the free school meals voucher scheme, said:
“The Department for Education has done the right thing in difficult circumstances by setting up the voucher scheme, but every administrative problem can mean a child goes hungry. It is vital that the government listens to school leaders to get this right.
“School leaders across the country have raised serious concerns about their ability to complete and access their orders. While steps are being taken to address this, the Department must be transparent about both the scale of the problem and how they will ensure that all families have access to the food they urgently need.
“It is essential that schools have flexibility to deliver urgent support where needed and will not have to foot the bill for providing these vital services from their existing budgets. The Government must issue a clear commitment to fund any local schemes that are providing free school meals to those who need them.”