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Summer school meal voucher scheme proposed

Tynwald to consider initiative this week

A scheme to continue free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays will be considered by Tynwald this week.

If approved, the support is expected to cost almost £140,000 over a six-week period.

Education minister Dr Alex Allinson previously said the vouchers wouldn't continue over the summer break as his department doesn't have the legal power to offer such support.

However, Treasury has since approved the creation of the Summer Holiday Food Voucher Scheme, which would come into force next Monday if given the go ahead by the Island's parliament.

Almost 2,000 children in primary and secondary school are currently eligible for free school meals, with more than 90 per cent redeeming the vouchers in recent weeks.

It's intended the initiative would only be in place this year as a direct result of the extra challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and not continued in the future.