STUDENTS in Torfaen entitled to free school meals will be paid £3.90 for each day they’re not in school this week.

The scheme, which is expected to cost Torfaen Council between £20,000 and £25,000, applies to dates between Thursday, September 3, and Friday, September 11. A decision beyond this date has not been made.

The £3.90 payment is equivalent to the £19 per week handed to free school meal students since April, and is being made in lieu of providing lunches for those who cannot attend schools because of the coronavirus lockdown.


The scheme does not apply to inset days or other days of absence due to illness or parental choice not to send their child to school.

A list is being drawn up by the council to have a complete list of days eligible pupils are not due be in school.

A council report on the decision says: “Schools have worked closely with the catering team to safely design meal provision for the first seven days with a mixture of packed lunches or hot meals being offered.

“On the days free school meal eligible pupils are in school and takes up the offer the meal will be provided in line with the school offering.”

The council has also announced that breakfast clubs will not return before Monday, September 14.

A report says: “Schools are still working through the logistics of a safe and phased return for their pupils and the lunch time provision will give valuable insight as to how breakfast clubs can run.

“Importantly due to how schools operated in June-July many schools do not yet have demand estimations for breakfast club provision or permission slips from parents. Therefore, a safe and effective return to breakfast clubs cannot be guaranteed.

“It is fully appreciated that many parents/carers will be disappointed with this decision and will affect their plans if they use breakfast club as a wrap-around provision for childcare to allow them to work etc.

“We hope that there is appreciation of the complexity and difficulty of safely returning to school and the time is needed to ensure fully robust plans are put in place to ensure the safety of the pupils and the catering/school staff.”