School Meals - No Debt Policy
As of 1 September 2017, the City and County of Swansea will adopt a clear no-debt policy relating to the payment and provision of school meals. This is to ensure that, other than where there is an entitilement to free school meals, parents or carers pay for children's meals.
This will also ensure that school funding is used exclusively for the purpose of providing education to pupils. If debts are incurred then the school budget has to pay for them. This means that money which should be spent on the children's education is used to pay for debts incurred by parents/carers. In previous years, the local authority has had to cover debts of tens of thousands of pounds. We are no longer able to do this and are seeking your support and cooperation to address this matter.
To help to make payments for meals as easy as possible we are introducing a new online payments system called sQuid in September and you will recieive information from your school about how to register.
If you believe that your children may qualify for entitlement to free school meals you can find out more on www.swansea.gov.uk/FSM where you can also make an online application or print off a paper form to send to us in the Civic Centre. If you have any queries about free school meals you can contact 01792 635894 or email FreeSchoolMeals@swansea.gov.uk or visit the contact centre in the Civic Centre. This allowance is a statutory right and it is important that you use it if you qualify.
We are anxious that your child benefits from a wholesome and appetising school lunch. Please therefore ensure that you provide the correct payment in advance. From September, children will not be provided with a school meal unless it is paid for, except those entitled to free school meals. If a parent/carer genuinely forgets to pay in advance the school may grant a debt allowance of a meal. However the debt must be paid the next day and future meals must be paid in advance before any further meals are provided.
I hope that by implementing this policy we are able to help parents/carers manage school dinner money better and at the same time ensure that schools' budgets are used to support children's learning.
Chief Education Officer