National Voucher Scheme

31st March 2020

Dear Parents,
It was announced overnight that the National Voucher Scheme has been launched. We are awaiting details of how to access this for you if you are currently in receipt of free school meals, or if indeed you now qualify and apply online here :
Check if your child can get free school meals in England and find out how to apply on your local authority’s website. Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent ...

National voucher scheme

We have developed a national scheme to provide supermarket vouchers via the Edenred online portal. Schools will not have to pay for these vouchers as the costs for this scheme will be picked up centrally by DfE. Vouchers should be made available to the adult with caring responsibility for that child.

It would appear that we can:

  • send an ‘eCode’ directly to the parent or carers of the pupils(s) eligible for free school meals - they will need to choose an eGift card from a range of supermarkets
  • select an eGift card on the parent or carer’s behalf, and print and post the eGift card to them

The approach you can take will depend on parents and carers’ ability to access the internet. We will call you to see which suits you best.

Will pupils who become newly eligible for free school meals be supported?

Yes. Schools and local authorities should continue to accept free school meal applications. Parents should make contact with the school or local authority, who will verify eligibility and award free school meals.

What is the eligibility criteria for free school meals?

The eligibility criteria for free school meals can be found on apply for free school meals.

What about infants that receive a free meal under universal infant free school meals?

It is right that schools concentrate their effort and resources on those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals at this time. There is no requirement to continue to provide universal infant free school meals to pupils in reception, year 1, or year 2 who are unable to attend school. Children in those year groups who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals will be supported.

Kind regards,
Mrs Simpkins

Mrs Janice Simpkins


Newburgh Primary School

01926 775453