Child eating school dinnerOver 160,000 children from poorer families are not receiving the free school means they are entitled to as parents are failing to claim, it has been revealed.

Schools are losing out on millions of pounds of funding put aside to help parents of children from poorer backgrounds, figures suggest. One in ten parents who qualify for free school meals are not claiming their entitlement.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said:

“We want all disadvantaged children to access to the free school meal they are entitled to. By encouraging parents to register for free school meals, we have ensured an extra 80,000 children since 2010 are now accessing a nutritious meal every day at school.

“The Government is going further by making all infants eligible for free school meals from September 2014.”