CHESHIRE East schools have attracted nearly £200,000 funding as a result of an awareness campaign for the eligibility for free school meals and.

The awareness campaign ran for eight weeks from mid March.

The aim of the campaign was to highlight that for every child registered for free school meals their school receives a pupil premium. For each primary school, this could equate to up to £1,320 per child per year - or up to £935 for each secondary school.

Councillor Dorothy Flude, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for children and families said: “I’m delighted that the campaign has had such a positive impact and resulted in a significant amount of additional funding for schools here in Cheshire East.

“This funding will make a real difference to pupils through additional equipment or resources. Free school meals and the pupil premium that comes with this are something that parents can apply for year round, so I urge anyone who hasn’t already done so to check their eligibility and apply.”

As part of the campaign, the council distributed posters and leaflets to local schools, in seven different languages and ran messages and videos across their social media channels.

The campaign had the following results:

  • 148 applications for free school meals/pupil premium;
  • 150 additional pupils now receive free school meals/pupil premium;
  • 111 primary schools now receive an additional government funding per pupil, totalling £146,520 and;
  • 39 secondary schools now receive an additional government funding per pupil, totalling £36,465

Children in reception through to Year 2 are automatically entitled to a free school meal through a universal scheme, regardless of parents’ income. If parents are receiving one of the qualifying benefits, they could also get the pupil premium for their school by applying online.

For children in Year 3 through to Year 13, there is an eligibility criteria to meet in order to qualify for free school meals.

To find out more visit the website quoting FSM2019 or call 0300 123 5012.