SCHOOLS across Essex could see a drop in funding, as the system used to identify children from lowincome homes is set to change.

Government grant, pupil premium is allocated to schools with students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and is aimed at bridging the gap between them and their classmates.

The cash allocation is based on which children receive free school meals.

But from September, a new scheme will see all infant school pupils given a free meal, regardless of household income.

This means disadvantaged children will not be automatically signed up for the premium and parents will have to apply independently.

Some schools are concerned this will mean they lose out on the vital pupil premium cash, if parents do not apply.

Read the full story in today's Gazette.