We have raised before our concerns about the availability of free holiday meals for children. We tested this out over the Christmas holiday by contacting both Havant Council and Hampshire County Council. Neither could offer any advice on how vouchers for meals could be accessed during the holidays and repeatedly batted us back and forth. The transcript of the phone calls is here (PDF), and our correspondence with the local MP on this topic is here.
The lack of clarity or access on this is worrying.
There is also real concern amongst teachers and parents at the widening gap developing in learning for pupils who for various reasons cannot access good broadband or access to a laptop.
Phil Munday, as a retired Headteacher explained:
“Schools and parents are doing an excellent job in very difficult circumstances but there is a real worry that some pupils are getting left behind. As we come out of the pandemic, we need very targeted support to bridge this gap.”
We also want to thank all the traders and volunteers individuals who have been working so hard to support those more vulnerable members of our community.