New funding for school breakfast clubs in disadvantaged areas – Friday 23 March 2018

This week I report on support for new school breakfast clubs in disadvantaged areas around the country, the publication of the consultation document on eligibility for free school meals and the early years pupil premium under Universal Credit and updated non-statutory guidance on using children’s biometric data.

Funding for new school breakfast clubs in disadvantaged areas around the country
On Monday the Education Secretary announced the appointment of two charities (Family Action and Magic Breakfast) to run school breakfast clubs around the country from this Spring.

The boost to breakfast provision will be funded through the soft drinks industry levy and will benefit over 1,770 schools. The investment will be targeted at the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the DfE’s Opportunity Areas, but further details have not been released at this time.

Consultation outcome on eligibility for free school meals and the early years pupil premium under Universal Credit
The Government has published its consultation document outlining the general principles that were applied in considering changes to the criteria for free school meals and the early years pupil premium under Universal Credit. It sets out the measures the Government plans to take to protect those families who would otherwise lose entitlement to free school meals because of the changes and its plans for communicating these changes to parents, providers and local authorities.

Updated non-statutory guidance on using children’s biometric data
This week the DfE published updated non-statutory guidance for schools and colleges on using children’s biometric data. It states that schools and colleges using automated biometric recognition systems, or planning to install them, should make arrangements to notify parents and must obtain the consent required under the duties as set out in the body of the advice.

Interestingly the guidance only refers to the General Data Protection Regulation in the final paragraph, when it advises that new data protection legislation is due to come into force in the UK by 25 May 2018 and it strongly recommends that schools and anyone with responsibility for processing pupils’ biometric data should seek independent legal advice to ensure that they comply with any changes to data protection law.

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