ALL pupils who are entitled to free school meals will continue to receive them if they are shielding or having to self-isolate, thanks to extra funding from the Welsh Government.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams has announced that £420,000 will be made available to ensure the pupils get their meals.

Speaking on a video released today on her Twitter channel, the Minister confirmed at least £420,000 would be made available immediately to support local authorities deliver this ‘vital service’.

Ensuring the continuation of free school meal provision has been a key priority for the Welsh Government as it has responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

When the Minister announced she would close schools on Wednesday, March 18 she confirmed that £7m would be made available to local authorities to put in place measures to ensure that children eligible for free school meals would continue to benefit from this scheme.

Then, on April, 22 Wales became the first country in the UK to guarantee ongoing funding for children to continue to benefit from free school meal provision up to and including the end of the summer holidays

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “It is vital that children who receive free school meals are able to continue to benefit from this support whether they are in school or at home because they are shielding or self-isolating.

“We have worked tirelessly this year to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and the countless challenges it is has presented but we have not, and will not, forget those for who school is about far more than education.”

The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James said: “Ensuring children can continue to receive free school meals whether they are physically in a school building or not has been a priority for the Welsh Government and this announcement reconfirms this commitment.

“This funding will allow local authorities to ensure no child misses out on this vital service and I will continue to work with Local Authorities to ensure they can are able to deliver key services and respond to the pandemic.”