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Clarity on summer free meals at last

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SFCA's deputy chief executive, James Kewin, responded to the government's new guidance on free school meals over the summer in further education:

“The Secretary of State talked yesterday about his plans to put further education at the heart of the post-16 education system. One practical way of doing this would be to address the range of inequalities that colleges face compared to other providers of 16 to 18 education. Free school meals is a classic example. Schools (including sixth form and 16-19 academies) knew on the 17th of June that they could continue to make free meal payments to students over the summer holidays. It has taken almost a month to extend this to sixth form students studying in colleges, with the inevitable catch that they will be funded at a lower rate (£2.41 vs. £3 per day) than sixth form students studying in schools. If the Department has evidence that college students require less food than school students we would be interested to see it. If not, we would suggest that young people should not be disadvantaged based on where they choose to study. We are grateful to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sixth Form Education for pursuing this issue with such vigour, but it really isn’t something that should have required a campaign to put right.”

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