The Council’s School Meal Debt Policy has been revised, with particular reference being made to corporate safeguarding procedures, tightening the process regarding the non-payment of school meal debts, as well as support that the authority can offer across all schools in the county.
The policy highlights the importance of claiming free school meals for those that are entitled; supporting families to make sure that no child is deprived of their school meal and the requirement for all school staff and pupils to pay in advance for school meals, avoiding any level of debt to families/ guardians and school staff.
Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Cabinet Lead Member for Children, Young People, Education and the Welsh Language, said: “The Council has received feedback over recent months about its policy which was old and in need of updating. We have taken a fresh approach to the policy, with the main focus on fairness and safeguarding our children and young people, rather than finance being the main driver. The policy will also result in greater communication between schools and parents/ guardians.
Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, said:: “This policy will help support those families who may be struggling financially with paying for school meals, but also provides guidelines for schools and the Catering Service run by the Council to deliver a sustainable service, whilst supporting those families and guardians who require support. The policy will also contribute towards the Council’s priorities around young people and helping to build resilient communities".