A local council has started a new service that will allow parents to apply for free school means for their children via smartphones, games consoles, and their digital TVs.
In a bid to make accessing education benefits and support simpler and more convenient, Hertfordshire County Council will allow parents to use mobile phones, an XBox, Wii or Playstation by typing in: www.lookinglocal.gov.uk/hertsdirect, to make sure their child is receiving free school lunches.
Frances Button, cabinet member for education and skills, said: "Now that households have switched over to digital television and that most mobile phone packages come with access to the internet, we want to tap into this latest technology to help even more families to apply quickly and easily for the benefits to which they are entitled.
"Having a healthy, balanced lunch makes a real difference to children's welfare and their attainment in school. I hope this new scheme will encourage everyone who is entitled to free school meals to put in an application. I also hope other local authorities will follow our lead."
The new service runs alongside existing application processes, with 50% already being made online at www.hertsdirect.org/freeschoolmeals.
By Neil Gerrard
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