Guidance for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): free school meals guidance for schools

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This guidance will help schools and local authorities to continue providing free school meals to eligible pupils where:

  • the pupil has to stay at home because they and/or wider family members are displaying coronavirus (COVID-19) related symptoms
  • the school is only open for certain groups or is closed temporarily

Be aware of scam emails

We have been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following:‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.

We can confirm that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.

DfE coronavirus helpline

EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Telephone 0800 046 8687

If you have a query about coronavirus (COVID-19), relating to schools and other educational establishments in England contact our helpline.

Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm and weekends 10am to 4pm.

Published 19 March 2020
Last updated 31 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added guidance on school food contracts and the national voucher scheme, including how to order. Also added a question and answer section.

  2. Added information for parents about scams.

  3. First published.