Families on low incomes are being encouraged to apply for free school meals in order to unlock more money for their child’s school.

From the start of this term, all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils in England started to receive free school meals for the first time.

However, schools still want parents on a low income to apply for free school meals in the traditional way, because it allows schools to receive significant extra funding, known as the Pupil Premium.

Keith Grimwade, Director for Learning at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Although in theory all young children can get free school meals, every primary school child who applies on the grounds of low income secures £1300 in additional funding for their school – the Pupil Premium.

“If there are a few children in a village who don’t apply in this way, it adds up to quite a lot of money that the school is missing out on – and this money has to go towards supporting these children to achieve. Coming forward and being ‘counted in’ is a really good thing to do for your child and their school.

“This doesn’t mean that children have to eat a school meal every day. As long as they apply by the end of September, the school can still get the funding. Also, none of the other children will know which families are eligible on the grounds of low income,” he added.

Parents and carers can apply online for free school meals at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals, or by calling 01223 703 200.


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