On 26th May 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to two questions asked on Free School Meals Voucher Schemes.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL4324 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they can take to encourage all food shops to accept food vouchers.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL4323 To ask Her Majesty’s Government (1) what assurances they have sought from Edenred that the food voucher scheme will work for all those who require them; (2) what plans they have to provide emergency aid to those who are unable to benefit from the scheme; and (3) what plans they have to seek financial compensation from Edenred.
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Lord Horam asked Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to increase the Pupil Premium for the most disadvantaged primary school children.
The Bishop of Wakefield asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: My Lords, can the Minister tell us whether the Government are considering ways in which an increase in the pupil premium can be targeted at the forms of deprivation most difficult to address? Rural deprivation, for example, particularly in church schools, is very significant in our part of West Yorkshire, in the Diocese of Wakefield.
Lord Nash: The right reverend Prelate is quite right to point out the problems with rural deprivation; it is similar to coastal deprivation. There are particular schemes that schools follow: mentoring; systemic feedback; much more involvement of parents; early intervention, particularly using the better teachers; and peer tutoring. Much can be learnt from groups like Ark, whose academy in Portsmouth, for instance, which is in a classic coastal town, has improved results in four years from 24% to 68%.