December 13 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Parents are being urged to check if they can get free school meals for their children after it emerged that many are not taking up their right to claim.
Councillor Steve Garratt, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for children, said: “We know there are literally hundreds of children in Fenland who are entitled to free school meals but aren’t getting them – 774, in fact, according to our latest figures.
“In the past it has been hard to ensure that individual families are made aware they could be benefiting.
“But now by working with the Information Commissioner, other agencies and Cambridgeshire County Council, we’ve overcome that problem and found a way that makes it possible to reach out directly to those families to encourage them to claim.”
Mr Garratt said it was not just families who will benefit.
He said: “Schools will, too, because for each child who receives free meals, the school gets a free school meal premium of £900 per year.
“In other words, by developing a new way of getting the message across to individual families about their entitlement, we have the potential to secure an extra £696,600 per year for Fenland schools.
“That can make a massive difference,” he said.