Tripps wrote: ↑14 Jan 2021, 16:11
I knew that most lists of numbers from various sources, when analysed, show a preonderance of lower numbers at the start. Can't find the link at the moment.
There are a couple of Matt Parker You Tube videos on that ( its a problem with any place based number system)
Meanwhile Back semi-corona related (though it fits in politics too). Foof Parcels for Free School Meals - Funding at Half Term
Part of the shuttle of funding and responsibility lies with how the Government thinks it is funding a potential food / poverty situation
Summarising. During School Terms Schools are responsible for providing a free school dinner to pupils that qualify ( I presume it would be the local authority that provides such lists of pupils and makes such funding to the schools. The schools contract or do their own meals ). While no direct mention is made of schools that run non-term events - some do catch up and other contracts depending on their area etc, the principle is , and from a schools point of view not unreasonably, that Councils fund/provide food during the school holidays. This seems reasonable, but I dont know if this is funded normally by local authorities from their own funds, or from government allocations. Now what (and if you recall the likes of Liverpool and Manchester negiotiating with central government for funds)
Now the present February Plan from Govt is that :
Food will be provided by councils under the Covid Winter Grant Scheme, rather than through schools.
But councils say the government should provide food vouchers over half term.
"Vulnerable families will continue to receive meals," said a Department for Education spokeswoman.
"Our guidance is clear: schools provide free school meals for eligible pupils during term time. Beyond that, there is wider government support in place to support families and children via the billions of pounds in welfare support we've made available," she said.
The DFE insists that even though schools will not provide food parcels or vouchers during half term, children will still be adequately supplied through the £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme (CWGS) fund set up in early December.
This aims to support those most in need across England with the cost of food, energy, water bills and other essentials.
But Richard Watts, chairman of the Local Government Association's resources board, said: "The government should provide food vouchers to eligible families during February half-term as it did last summer, with councils using CWGS funding to provide additional support with partners where necessary.
"During the last full national lockdown government recognised the significant extra pressures on low income families and extended free school meal provision into the school holidays.
________________________ So , where is the problem - Richard Watts continues -
"Government was explicit that the Covid Winter Grant Scheme was not intended to replicate or replace free school meals
, but was to enable councils to support low income households, particularly those at risk of food poverty as we moved towards economic recovery."
Under the scheme, councils are required to work out their own local eligibility approach
", using benefits data and their local knowledge to decide how to support vulnerable families.
"Moving to this scheme for a replacement for school meals during half term has drawn criticism from head teachers and teachers due to the added situation of a national lockdown." = Why ?
Govt Response - "There is wider government support in place to support families and children outside of term-time through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme." Which seems fair , if it is comprehensive and adequate.
I think the problem is correctly, the CWGS is not to replace school meals (term time stuff), but if specified correctly that it was to top-up local authority funds to spend among other things, food poverty during school holidays. As to if Local Authorities think that vouchers direct from Govt are better, well I think that is the normal issue of Govt demanding authorities to do things without fully funding them, and then having someone to take the blame when it all goes wrong. Is or has there been any normal funding for food outwith of schools (I can recall the DHSS vouchers out with family income supplement in the 70s/80s) , and if they are a financial value voucher you can buy more in Farm Foods in Coal Croft at Burnley than you can in One Stop - whose prices are higher.
Of course the main idea for free school meals was , aside from generalised welfare nutrition when learning, was to ensure there was nil discrimination and kids not missing out (though in the 60s did anyone have the free school meals tables - or they went in first or last at sittings ? - in recent years things have been loaded on cards so its anonoymous to other kids - and teachers ( teachers used to collect the weekly dinner money at monday morning registration at primary school. with a F in the attendence circle for the free ones, the registration sheet I think must have gone to the kitchen for working out numbers of meals.