Councils should be free to share benefit data with schools to enable children to be automatically signed up for free meals, school leaders have said.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) is calling on MPs to support a new cause in the Digital Economy Bill, which would put an end to children having to apply for free school meals.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT, says: ‘We know that not all children who are eligible for free school meals claim them. The government can change that by accepting this amendment today.
‘Auto-registration for free school meals would ensure more children get the support they are entitled to. Schools would also see a boost in funding through the pupil premium, which is given to schools to support children registered for free school meals.’
The Bill would allow for greater data sharing between government departments and local authorities.