Free school meals plea to parents
Pupils in Hull could lose out on additional support if free school meal entitlements go unclaimed.
That's because, from next year, the government may calculate how much funding a school receives according to the number of its pupils who claim free school meals.
There are currently 9,576 pupils registered for free meals in Hull out of a total of 33,000 primary and secondary school pupils.
But it's estimated that there are a further 4,000 families who are eligible but who haven't registered.
"We'd like to contact those parents and explain to them that it's vitally important that they register as soon as possible," says Judith Harwood, acting director of Children and Young People's Services and Hull City Council.
"Because of the new way funding will be allocated, we simply can't stress enough the additional support it could bring and the knock-on benefits for children."
Meanwhile, council officers are in the process of writing to those families with an underlying entitlement and have enclosed an application form, leaflet and pre-paid envelope for ease of return.
What's more, those families can also receive clothing grants of £25 per primary pupil and £35 per secondary pupil.
"The process of registering couldn't be simpler," says education officer Andrew Thomson.
"There's no need to submit any documentary evidence as we can make all the necessary checks on-line.
We can usually process an application within three days."
Children who are eligible include those whose parents or guardians are in receipt of benefits including Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) and support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
Families in receipt of Child Tax Credit will also qualify provided that (a) they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit, and (b) their annual income, did not exceed £16,190 as at 6 April 2010.
To receive an application form (form EWB1) call 300 300.
Alternatively pick one up from your nearest customer service centre/school or download it from the Hull City Council website at www.hullcc.gov.uk.