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Labour pressure forces Free School Meal take up increase

Labour councillors on Suffolk County are pleased to hear that after pressure from the Labour Group during 2013 the number of pupils not claiming their free school meals has dropped from over 5,000 to just less than 2,000.

Pupils who claim free school meals trigger payment of the Pupil Premium worth £900 per pupil to the school they attend. Prior to Labour Group intervention schools had been missing out on over £10 million of funds.

Labour councillors quizzed the Conservative administration about the missing money during a number of meetings last year and offered a number of potential solutions for the administration to take up. These included better communications, making the process less stigmatising and simplifying the process.

Labour Shadow Education spokesperson Cllr Sonia Barker said “It is good news that the administration has listened to the Labour Group’s demands for action on free school meal take up, we are pleased to have been the catalyst for action from the administration.

She added “There is some distance to travel to get to the Labour aspiration of 100% take up, and we will be keeping the pressure on the administration to ensure that they do.”

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