The awards ceremony takes place on 21 June 2012 at the London Hilton Hotel.
Staff are very confident that their campaign has every chance of winning the prestigious award.
The campaign, which was launched in July 2011, aimed to increase the number of children taking up the offer of a free healthy meal at lunchtime.
Families across the borough have been quick to sign up and support the campaign and they have benefitted by saving £400 from their annual household budget for each child they have in a borough school. The total saving for families across the borough is well over one million pounds.
However, it is not just families that have benefitted from the campaign. Schools have benefitted from the success of the campaign. The Pupil Premium scheme currently awards schools £485.00 (£600 from April 2012) for every pupil that receives a free school meal. The increase in the take up of free school meals will bring an extra £1.8m of crucial funding for schools across the borough.
As well as the financial advantages of pupils getting a free school meal at lunchtime there are other benefits. Having a healthy meal at lunch not only helps in reducing childhood obesity but also helps improve the pupil’s performance in class after the lunch break.
The campaign was supported and resourced by all schools in the borough and was driven by a marketing campaign, which was aided by the support the council’s Revenue and Benefits team. Making it easier for parents to apply free School Meals was clearly another factor that contributed to the success.
David Dickson, Head Teacher at Eastbury School, said:" I am very pleased for all families and schools in the borough. Families receive their entitlement and schools receive more money to help educate the students. The additional money will be used to provide more teachers, support staff and resources for the students that need it most"
Elizabeth Chaplin, Head Teacher at Valence Primary School, said, "We used the campaign to encourage our parents to apply for free school meals. Our very hard working parent support advisors and our dedicated office staff worked as a team to make sure that as many of our children as possible could benefit from the additional support that the school would receive from the government. It was a real community effort which has benefitted the school and families"
Helen Jenner, Corporate Director for Children services said: " I’d like to congratulate all of the staff that worked on this campaign and wish them every success in the final. The success of the campaign has exceeded our expectations.
The financial reward to schools and families during these tough times will continue to have a significant impact. The life changing benefit it has had upon local families goes beyond the financial rewards. Not only does a healthy and nutritious school meal at lunch time help tackle the issues of childhood obesity there is also considerable evidence that shows that it improves pupils performance and achievement in the classroom."