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Government faces court over plans to scrap free school meal vouchers this summer

Formal legal action has been launched over the Government’s failure to confirm free school meals over the summer.

Lawyers have now started the formal process of issuing judicial review proceedings after the Government refused to say whether it would keep providing food vouchers for children entitled to free school meals in England over the summer.

More than 1.3 million children in England rely on free school meals in term time – leading to the introduction of £15 a week vouchers to cover the cost of feeding them an extra meal while schools were closed.

But, with the summer holidays fast approaching, many schools still closed and millions furloughed or struggling to find work while much of the economy is shut down, there is uncertainty surrounding the future of the vouchers.

Dalmeny said: “We urgently need the Government to commit to a new funding package in place of the voucher scheme to help struggling families cope over the long summer break, so that children do not fall even further behind in both their health and their education.

“Food banks, schools and local authorities are struggling to keep up with emergency food aid. We sincerely hope this judicial review will prompt the Government to step up to their responsibilities and prevent children going hungry.”

The Good Law Project and Sustain have instructed Jamie Burton of Doughty Street Chambers and solicitors Simpson Millar to act, both of whom have agreed to do so at discounted rates.

They will be asking for a court hearing in July – before the summer holidays begin.

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