February Half Term Helping Hand Vouchers


Dear Colleagues,

Action needed in readiness for February Half Term FSM Vouchers

Buckinghamshire Council continues to provide its Helping Hand service and is preparing to provide all pupils eligible for Free School Meals with a £15 food voucher for February half-term break. As per the Christmas holiday, we will be providing voucher codes to eligible pupils and will again provide these codes on individual letters for you to send to parents/carers.

For us to order and send the correct number of vouchers to you, we need you to confirm the details of the pupils who are eligible for Free School Meals. To do this we will be sending a file to each school today, Monday 25th January, via AnyComms Plus.  We have listed those pupils we believe are eligible for free school meals, based on the October 2020 School Census and the vouchers provided for the Christmas holidays. Please check this list, noting the below –

  • please ensure that the “February half term voucher required” column is set to “No” for any pupils who no longer attend your school
  • please add any newly eligible pupils or eligible pupils who have joined your school this term to the bottom of the list.  Please only add pupils eligible for Free School Meals – do no include pupils eligible for 2 year old funded places or Early Years Pupil Premium (vouchers for these children will be provided separately).
  • for all other pupils please review the “February half term voucher required”  column and amend as necessary.  Where a voucher was issued for the Christmas holidays but hasn’t been activated by the family we have set the voucher required status to “No” by default.  You can request a February half term voucher for these pupils by changing the status to “Yes”, but please check with the family first to find out why the Christmas voucher has not been activated – if they are struggling to redeem the Christmas vouchers then please let us know using the Notes column as we may be able to look at alternative ways of supporting these families.

Once complete please save your file with the original name (825LLLL_825xxxx_HHFebWinterGrantSchemeFeb21.xlsx – where xxxx is your school number), then upload the file to AnyComms Plus selecting “Winter Grant” as the file type. Files need to be returned by midday on Thursday 28th January.

Many thanks for your support with this task,

Gareth Drawmer

Head of Achievement and Learning