Parents and carers have been warned about a new scam targeting families having to home school children because of coronavirus.

Scam emails have reportedly been sent to families, asking for bank details so that they can continue to receive free school meals while schools are closed.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "We have been informed some parents have received an email stating: ‘As schools will be closing, if you're entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we'll make sure you're supported’.

"This is a scam email - do not respond, and delete immediately."

Dorset Council has been quick to offer signposting to the correct information regarding free school meals.

A spokesman said: "Beware a scam doing the rounds about free school meals. Parents have received an email asking for bank details to make sure they are 'supported'.

"We’ll never ask for your details. Ignore emails like this and report as spam."

Council advice is as follows: "We're making sure that we're able to provide a meal for all children who would normally receive a free school meal, whether they are in school or not.

"Individual schools are making plans for their children and will share this information with parents as soon as they are able.

"The council is supporting their plans with a co-ordinated community response to help where necessary.

"Children eligible to attend school who do not normally receive free school meals will need to bring a packed lunch."

For more information, head to the council's schools and families page here.