Education Planning Group: Schools update... 15 October

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dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

As promised, please find information regarding the October Half-Term Holidays ‘Free School Meal’ Voucher Offer.

Apologies for the late communication and thank you to you all for your continued support and understanding during this challenging time for education. 

Kind Regards,

Dan Barton, Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Image description: Head and shoulders photograph of Daniel Barton, the Assistant Director - Education and Skills.

October Half-Term Holidays ‘Free School Meal’ Voucher Offer.

WONDE FSM ‘LA WINDOW’ OPENS Monday 18th October 2021 at 08.00

Please ensure your school administrator is aware of this date and orders accordingly.

WONDEs FSM software’s new name is

As per the summer offer, you can log on to the old system ‘’ and you will automatically be taken to the new It looks the same and ordering is the same, it’s just a new name.

Wonde have also introduced an optional App for parents to download, this does not affect the ordering or spending of vouchers, and parents are not obliged to use it.

The county council has again committed to ensuring every benefits-eligible FSM young person is able to access a FSM meal voucher over the October half-term holiday. The vouchers will have a value of £15 [5 x £3] for each eligible child and are fully funded by Cumbria County Council using the government replacement for the COVID Grant scheme.

The WONDE system ‘LA window’ [where the LA can be selected on the WONDE system to pay for your order] will open at 8am on Monday the 18th October and close at 5pm on Tuesday 26th October.

The WONDE system we are using enables a clear audit trail for DWP/COVID accounting purposes.

Please note schools should not pay for vouchers on a school card and when using WONDE must select ‘pay by LA’ from the drop-down menu.

Please also note the ‘pay by LA’ option is for your benefits-related FSM young people to cover the October half-term holiday. You should continue with your own local solutions for term time.

If you need to check the latest FSM numbers for your school, please contact Jason Spedding on 07774016810 or via email

What are the arrangements for schools not using Wonde?

The Cumbria/WONDE e-voucher scheme is the FSM option due to administration and funding arrangements. If you do not wish to use the e-voucher scheme because you have an existing local solution, it is vital you please get in touch with either Marie Barnes or Ez Wealleans  so this can be discussed.

Support Materials

WONDE Information and Support




Frequently Asked Questions

A set of FAQ's have been provided for the October Half-Term Holidays ‘Free School Meal’ Voucher Offer which can be found below:

October Half-Term Holidays ‘Free School Meal’ Voucher Offer FAQ's

Sample letter to parents/carers

A sample letter to parents/carers has also been provided below:

October Half-Term Holidays ‘Free School Meal’ Voucher Offer sample letter