Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: £2 million shortfall in county’s pupil premium funding

09:30 08 January 2014

Schools in Suffolk could receive another £2 million in pupil premium funding if every child eligible claimed free school meals

Schools in Suffolk could receive another £2 million in pupil premium funding if every child eligible claimed free school meals

Schools in Suffolk are missing out on £2million of funding targeted at poorer families as parents aren’t claiming free school meals to which their children are entitled.

shares

There are 1,808 parents in Suffolk whose children are eligible for free school meals but they do not claim them – meaning the schools which their children attend do not receive extra funding.

Under the government’s “pupil premium” scheme, schools can get £900 extra funding for every eligible child. Children are eligible if their parents are in receipt of certain benefits, or if they are entitled to free school meals.

The pupil premium can be used to increase teaching capacity and improve learning.

Schools in Suffolk will receive more than £10m extra funding thanks to parents claiming free school meals for their children – but they could still receive another £2m.

At the start of 2013 there were about 5,100 young people in the county who were entitled to free school meals but not claiming them. This was twice the national average and led to Suffolk County Council launching a campaign to increase take up.

A year on, the level of under-registration has fallen to around 13% through a programme of encouraging school governors and leaders to support and drive registration, simplifying the application procedure and making it more discreet.

However, this figure is still above the national average.

Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education, skills and young people, said: “The number of Suffolk children claiming free school meals has increased by over 2,500 since January 2013 – meaning we’ve significantly cut the under registration rate.

“Now, around 13% of those entitled to claim don’t. At one point this was over 30% – demonstrating how far Suffolk has come.

“In the last year, we’ve worked closely with schools to make this happen. We’ve simplified the process of applying which has made it less daunting for parents.

“The whole free school meals scheme is now much more discreet for both parents and pupils.

“Whilst we’re moving in the right direction, we still need more of those entitled to claim free school meals to do so. For one it means children are getting a good, healthy meal at school which sets them up for learning.

“But over and above this, for every child that does claim, the school gets an extra £900 from the government to help improve educational attainment.”

shares

0 comments

Eddie Brown in 2004

Tributes have been paid to a former Suffolk world darts champion who has died at the age of 78.

Bury Magistrates' Court

Suffolk will be one of just six English counties with a single magistrates’ court if Ministry of Justice closure proposals go ahead.

Colchester General Hospital

Chiefs at Colchester General Hospital are celebrating after scoring above average again for cleanliness and food.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A Suffolk bus driver accused of grooming a schoolgirl for sex has denied a string of sex offences.

A new free school will be established in Bury St Edmunds

A new free school will open in Bury St Edmunds, specialising in science and engineering, in 2017.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

A defective track in the Harold Wood area is affecting services from across the region.

View of Diesel Generator and Transformer Sets at Existing Flexible 
Generation Facility

More than 30 years after Cliff Quay power station was taken off the grid, electricity generation could return to its site – but on a very different scale.

Proposed housing site in Poplar Lane , behind the Holiday Inn ,Ipswich.

Almost 500 new homes could be built on the edge of Ipswich in a move which has prompted concern among local residents.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

Two former co-workers at a Trimley St Martin shop and post office have been charged with defrauding the business of nearly £9,500.

Cliff Quay power station, Ipswich, was badly damaged by a fire in September 1982. It never generated electricity again.

Ipswich power station dominated Cliff Quay during the decades after the second world war as it provided power for the National Grid.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages