All of the latest government guidance for schools is available from the gov.uk website.
Lancashire School Catering Free School Meal Offer
Our Catering Services work closely with schools to provide a range of options for free school meal eligible pupils who are at home during lockdown.
Schools are able to choose from three options to provide a free school meal for their home schooled pupils receive. The three options are:
A five-day food parcel, which contains a nutritious and balanced food offering with ingredients for parents to prepare a lunchtime meal each school day. The parcels include a range of foods made up of:
- protein items
- fresh vegetable snacks
- dessert and fruit
This allows parents and carers to make up one lunchtime meal per day. We also provide a five-day meal planner.
The cost of the 5-day food parcel is £11.70 which is equivalent to the daily £2.34 government funding rate for a free school meal.
A weekly supermarket voucher to the value of £15 per week.
A fresh daily packed lunch bag at a cost of £2.34 per day, equivalent to the daily £2.34 government funding rate for a free school meal.
Schools themselves decide which of these options are provided as they are best placed to meet the needs of their pupils. Parents and carers should speak to their school if they encounter any issues.
Further information about schools
Thousands more laptops and tablets are being provided to schools to help students learn from home.
Support is also available to ensure families without internet access can use the 4G mobile network, with schools able to request free mobile data packages to help children get online.
We have been working closely with schools to provide support and advice and have brought together some online educational resources for parents to help children to learn at home.
If you have any questions about remote learning arrangements please contact your child's school.
(Updated January 2021)
Following the national lockdown restriction announcement, most schools in Lancashire will remain open for the children of key workers and vulnerable students. At this time, the county council will continue to provide the dedicated school bus services that it contracts. However, amendments are being made to these services as schools have been asked to advise the county council which school bus services will still be required to operate in response to the number of students attending school. If you wish your child to use a school bus service provided by the county council, you should contact your school to book a place.
At this time no fares are being taken on board the dedicated school bus services that the county council provide.
Please keep up to date on this matter by checking the county council webpages for information.
Season ticket pass holders
School closures from January 2021
In light of the school closures due to coronavirus (COVID-19) from 5th January 2021, we will be arranging for direct debit payments for travel passes to be suspended until further notice. Unfortunately, due to banking processes we cannot reverse the direct debit taken in January 2021, but we will apply a credit to your account of the January payment plus the days that the schools are closed. When the schools reopen, we will recalculate the amount due for the remainder of the academic year and inform you of the revised payment schedule.
Please note if you choose to cancel the direct debit, the travel passes must be returned to the school transport team, the address can be found on the back of the pass. Once the pass has been received, we will calculate any refunds that are due. You can then pay the daily fare on the bus once the schools return if there is space available.
If you have paid in full for the travel pass we will contact you once the schools have returned with a claim form for the calculated amount to be refunded.
School closure due to coronavirus
(Updated 30 September)
Please see the season ticket refunds page for information about how to request credit or a refund due to Coronavirus.
School Bus Services in September
(Updated September 2020)
Lancashire County Council is providing School Bus Services in line with the guidance set out by the Department for Education. This government guidance highlights the distinction between dedicated school transport and wider public transport:
- by dedicated school transport, we mean services that are used only to carry pupils to school. This includes statutory home to school transport, but may also include some existing or new commercial travel routes, where they carry school pupils only
- by wider public transport services, we mean routes which are also used by the general public.
Pupils on dedicated school transport services do not mix with the general public on those journeys and tend to be consistent. This means that the advice for these two types of transport are different.
Schools have been issued with guidance from the county council regarding dedicated school services provided by Lancashire county council. Schools have been asked to share this information with parents/carers.
For further information, please see the key points within the dedicated school transport guidance.
Season ticket applications for September 2020
(Updated 10 June 2020)
Please see the School bus season tickets pages for important information about applying for September 2020.
School bus season tickets
(Updated 19 March 2020)
In light of the school closures due to coronavirus (COVID-19), we will be arranging for direct debit payments for season tickets and denominational transport to be suspended until further notice.
Please do not cancel your direct debit. A calculation will be done when schools return or at the end of this school year depending on the situation and invoices will be credited for the missed days. If any refunds are due, they will be issued to the bank detailed on our records.
Please note if you choose to cancel the direct debit, the passes must be returned to the school transport team, the address can be found on the back of the pass.
During periods where Covid 19 restrictions have been introduced and SEND school attendances are limited, parents and carers of children who are still attending school can expect to see their regular journey providers continuing the service. Journey times may change slightly if passenger numbers are reduced.
Read more about SEND home to school transport including the precautions we have put in place and transport personal budgets.
(Updated 26 May 2020)
Despite the restrictions that are in place, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, appeals will still be considered over the summer months following emergency legislation from the Department for Education (DFE).
Whilst social distancing measures are in place, we are currently exploring how appeals can be considered.
A provisional timetable of hearings has now been published. This timetable is just a guide and dates may change depending on the number of appeals that are lodged, the views of panel members and the outcome of a virtual hearing pilot survey.
We are currently writing to all appellants who have already submitted an appeal to gather further information from you so that we can consider how the appeal will be heard. An e-mail should be with you within the next couple of weeks.
Full guidance can be found on the school admission appeals section.
(Updated 23 July 2020)
We have received a copy of a letter from the Minister responsible for SEND which we have been asked to share as widely as possible.
Testing in secondary schools
(Updated 18 December 2020)
The government has announced that testing schemes will be introduced in secondary schools in the new year, and that the return after the Christmas break will be staggered as the system is being set up.
If you are the parent or carer of a secondary school age pupil, your school will be in touch with more details.
Our public health team are working really closely with schools and government to support the introduction of the testing programme, but you should not expect testing to start immediately in the new year. This has been announced at short notice by the government and the system will take time to be set up and become fully operational.
In the meantime our schools across Lancashire continue to work flat out to keep the classrooms safe for pupils, teachers and other staff. Our schools are grateful for your support throughout the pandemic, and appreciate your understanding and patience as this new testing regime is set up.