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In a classroom

Holiday free school meal payments to end

Taliadau prydau ysgol am ddim yn ystod gwyliau yn dod i ben

Welsh Government funding for Free School Meal payments during the holidays introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic will not be extended after three years of extra support.

Director of Education and the Welsh Language Owain Lloyd has written to all Local Authority Directors of Education to confirm that a decision in March, that the most recent extension of the scheme be to the end of May half term only, remains the case.

Options for a further extension were fully explored but budgetary constraints meant that it was not possible.

Pembrokeshire County Council recognises that the scheme was popular with those eligible and there is information on our website to assist anyone struggling with the Cost of Living.

From September all children in the Primary sector will have the option of Universal Free School Meals and the term time support for eligible Free School Meal pupils will continue.

What will be running this summer is the School Holiday Enrichment Programme (SHEP) providing healthy meals, food and nutrition education, along with physical activity and enrichment activities in schools.

The WLGA (Welsh Local Government Association) manages the SHEP, that has £4.85million allocated in 2023 funding across the country, and there are a number of schools in Pembrokeshire that will be offering ‘Food and Fun – Bwyd a Hwyl’.

In 2022, 139 schools in Wales delivered the programme and provided over 7800 places for children each day that it ran.

This summer ‘Food and Fun – Bwyd a Hwyl’ will be running at Coastlands CP School, Johnston CP School, Gelliswick Church in Wales VC Primary, Neyland Community School and Goodwick CP School.

Places are limited and parents at participating schools have been told about how to get involved.

Cllr Guy Woodham, Cabinet Member for Education and the Welsh Language, said: “The extra funding for Free School Meals over the last three years was welcomed by eligible families, who we appreciate are still facing difficulties due to increasing living costs.

“Food and Fun – Bwyd a Hwyl will provide many children with support this summer in their familiar school settings.”