A SCHOOL has postponed a free Christmas meal for pupils and their families amid Covid-19 concerns.

The Pioneer Academy was set to fund a free Christmas dinner for up to 150 guests at Moulsecoomb Primary School in Brighton on Wednesday.

The meal, for pupils at the school as well as their extended families, was part of a scheme run at all schools in The Pioneer Academy in partnership with Nourish Contract Catering.

However, due to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases in Brighton, Pioneer Academy boss Lee Mason Ellis said it had been decided to postpone.

“It will be difficult to ensure everyone’s safety at this time if large numbers of people are mixing on our school sites,” he said.

“As experts are predicting that the number of Omicron infections will shoot up ahead of the festive season, we don’t want to risk Christmas festivities for children, parents and staff.

“We have therefore made the very hard decision to postpone all of our upcoming Christmas community meal events.

“We are aware that this will be a disappointment but hope that you understand that we have made this decision in an attempt to keep you and your family as safe as possible in these difficult times.

“Our apologies again for postponing our most favourite event, may we wish you a safe and happy Christmas season.”

Mr Mason Ellis said the events will likely be moved to Easter to become part of an “Easter egg extravaganza”.

“Although the Department for Education are saying that festive events can go ahead, this advice is based on high numbers of people benefiting from the protection that vaccines offer, however, we are aware that the vaccination uptake in areas where some of our schools are located is as low as 50 per cent,” he said.

The event was set to offer free food, music and a visit from Father Christmas, who was to ensure each child goes home with a gift.

The idea originated when the trust wanted to make sure all pupils experienced a Christmas dinner, but has since become “a fixture on the community’s calendar”.