Herts councillor calls for free school meals to continue in the event of closures
PUBLISHED: 12:26 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:26 18 March 2020
A Herts County Councillor representing Stevenage Old Town has written to schools in the area to lobby for free schools meals to continue should schools close due to the coronavirus.
Joshua Bennett Lovell has written to the headteachers of Barclay and Thomas Alleyne academies, and Letchmore, Fairlands, Almond Hill and Woolenwick primary schools.
In the letter, he said: “I am writing to all headteachers within my county council locality to understand how free school meals will be provided in the event of school closures and changes to timetables.
“Such changes are becoming increasingly likely as a result of the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
“The importance of maintaining free school meals can never be understated as I know you are all aware, but especially at this time where basic supplies have become harder to source.”
The letter was sparked by the news that an academy in Torquay had committed to maintaining their free school meals through a pick-up service at the school, in the event that the school closes.
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Mr Bennett Lovell continued: “While you may have worked out provisional arrangements for free school meal provision already, if these arrangements have not yet been clarified with parents I am asking that these can be relayed as soon as possible to ensure complete continuity of provision.
“I believe for many local families clarification that these will continue will be much welcomed news and help assure them at this very difficult time.
“If you have already clarified free school meal continuity arrangements with parents and pupils, please take my thanks in advance.
“I wish you all the best for the coming weeks which will undoubtedly be a stressful time for you all, your colleagues, parents and pupils.
Councillor Bennett Lovell hopes to secure the service for children who rely on it alongside the Covid-19 Mutual Aid group which has been set up by Stevenage Borough Councillor Lizzy Kelly.
As it stands, there has been no instruction from the government to close UK schools, however, the Prime Minister has said people should work from home where possible, avoid mass gatherings and non-essential travel.
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