Cambridgeshire schools could miss out on £2.3million if families don’t claim free school meals

PUBLISHED: 16:07 23 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:07 23 January 2014

Peter Downes

Peter Downes

Archant

Families across Cambridgeshire are being urged to claim the free school meals for their children so schools can get Pupil Premium cash to support the youngsters.

Cambridgeshire’s Liberal Democrats fear schools could miss out on almost £2.3 million of funding because about 2,000 parents are not claiming their children’s entitlement to free meals, which the Pupil Premium is allocated on.

This year the Pupil Premium is worth £1,300 for primary pupils and £935 for secondary school children. The award is available for seven years of primary school and five years of secondary.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Peter Downes said: “It is well documented that children from disadvantaged and poorer backgrounds do less well at school than their classmates.

“We put the Pupil Premium in place to make sure every child received the start they deserved and on-going support to reach his or her potential.

“But if these pupils don’t take up the free school meals to which they are entitled, schools lose out on the government money intended to help them.

“At a time when Cambridgeshire is struggling for money for education, families must be encouraged to take up the free school meal entitlement so that their children’s schools can receive this extra £2.3 million in Pupil Premium.”

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