Financial Advice and Support

Cooperative Education East Trust are dedicated to each and every family across our three schools and understand the hardships some families will be and are facing due to the cost of living crisis our country is currently facing. We want you to know we are here for you and will do our utmost to help you whenever we can. If you are having any financial difficulties please speak to or contact any of the people mentioned below and we will strive to get you the help, advice and support you need.

Any of our staff will be happy to listen an support so please do approach your child’s class teacher, TA, one of our head teachers or the office staff. 

Alternatively, both our trust Parent Support Advisor (PSA) Tracey Mitchell and Deputy Head Natasha Clarke are available to talk to or email:

Places to Seek Advice

Grants and Applications

  • Fighting UK Poverty – Turn2us check benefits, apply for grants, support with utility bills, information and support
  • Warm homes grant Grants and loans – Breckland Council
  • Local Parish councils and churches run hardship funds which families can apply to for a variety of reasons. Including but not limited to: repairs to property, school uniform grants etc.

Pupil Premium

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 receive universal free school meals. However, you may be eligible for Pupil Premium. This would allow your child to continue to have free school meals throughout their time in school and also allow the school to apply for additional funding which can help cover the cost of additional costs in school. Including helping pay for school trips.

To see if you are eligible: Apply for free school meals – GOV.UK (

Your child may be eligible for Pupil Premium if you receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Your child may also get Pupil Premium/Free School Meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

Money Saving Tips

  • Plan meals in advance so you go to the supermarket knowing what to buy. 
  • Do not charge your mobile phone overnight. Most modern phones only take a couple of hours to charge. Use a in car charger when driving so not using electricity (but always ensure you have enough battery to make a call to keep you safe)
  • Turn your heating down 
  • Turn your thermostat down for you hot water to a safe temperature 
  • Check any subscriptions you have (amazon, Disney, Sky, Netfixs) are you on the best rate they are offering? Do you have similar subscriptions and can cancel one?
  • Always shop around for oil, insurances, utility suppliers. Loyalty is not often rewarded and they may price match.
  • Make a list of all the food in your cupboards, freezer and fridge. What meals can you make?
  • BBC bite size, cebeebies are full or games and program links for free.
  • Layer up with extra clothes and socks.
  • Use radiator foil behind radiators.
  • Use draught excluders (old socks in a pillow case).
  • Draft exclude the loft.
  • Use thick curtains. If you have thin curtains use a thicker sheer behind it or find another thin pair from the charity shop and double up.
  • Use blankets as well as duvets at night.
  • Use blankets and throws while watching TV.
  • Ask for dressing gowns and thick socks/slippers for Christmas.
  • Close doors and curtains to rooms you are not using.
  • Ask yourself if clothes need washing – are they dirty or smelly then yes. If they are worn but clean use them again.
  • A bar of soap is cheaper and lasts longer than shower gel or hand gel.
  • Turn down the valve on your radiators in rooms that you do not use as much.
  • If your heating is on, put a clothes airer with wet clothes in front of the radiator, use a duvet cover or large sheet to cover the airier. Tuck the sheet in slightly behind the radiator and create a ‘tent’ by pegging the sides closed to trap in the warm. Dries clothes quicker when you cannot dry things outside, and avoids the costly tumble drier. (Do this in a room you are not in so it is not taking the heat from the room)
  • When boiling a kettle only boil the amount you need or fill a flash so the water stays warm and you do not need to re-heat the kettle.

Social Media Groups for Support and or Ideas

  • Money saving hints, tips and ideas Facebook group 
  • Money saving tips UK GB Facebook group 
  • Use just giving pages or second hand pages 
  • Sell things that are no-longer in use in the house

Free Library Grab Bags

Keep Warm and Well with Norfolk Libraries

From Monday 10 October 2022 until the end of March 2023, Norfolk libraries will be offering free bags of essential items and hot drinks.

  • Warm and Well bags contain a scarf, hat, gloves, blanket, socks and a hot water bottle. Adult and child bags are available.
  • Vests are available on request in a range of adult and child sizes.
  • Tea, coffee, instant soup, hot chocolate and biscuits will be available during staffed hours. Find your local library.

For further help and support please visit the help with living costs page.

The library van which visits Banham also has these bags available. 

Places to Visit

  • Visit the local library – the heating will be on, often have activities for children such as go club and all free.
  • Blue Peter badges gives you free entry to some attractions
  • Banham Toddler Group at Banham Community Centre 10am -12 midday on a Monday term time £1 a family inclusive of all the activities hot drinks for adults and a snack and drink for each child.


Mental Health and Money

School Trips, Uniforms and Lunches

We aim to provide a plethora of school trips and experiences to enrich our curriculum and understand these can prove costly. We never want children to miss a trip for financial reasons or see any of our families struggle to afford them. Please speak to the school if payment is difficult as there are different options and ways we can help and support. 

Many of our school trips are subsidized by the Friends of Banham Primary (FOBS).

School uniform can soon all add up so here at Banham Primary we have occasional pop up shops for donated clothing but also have a large collection of free things. Please speak to us about what you need and the sizing. 

All three of our Primary schools provide the government funded daily fruit for Key Stage One children. If your child is in Key Stage Two and would benefit from this, please let us know.

All Reception, Year One and Two children are eligible for free school meals. If your child is in Key Stage Two they may be eligible for Pupil Premium free school meals. More information on this is on this web page.


Food Schemes in School

Banham has developed links with the local ‘One Stop’. Staff from school collect any goods that are past the sell by date each morning. Although the quantity and variety varies daily this food is shared between families who would benefit from it. Please talk to Mrs Davies or your child’s class teacher if you would like to receive some of these goods.

Food Banks

  • Attleborough Food Bank

The Attleborough Food Bank Sessions are held at Attleborough Methodist Church, London Road, Attleborough NR17 2BX from 10.30-11.30 am each Saturday.


  • Thetford Foodbank

The Hub (was Church of the Nazarene)

Croxton Road


IP24 1TA


0300 102 9618 (not manned M-F 9-5 please leave your no. and a message and someone will get back to you)



  • Waveney Foodbank

Unit 9b,

Fortress Close,

Brome Ind Estate,


IP23 7HN

PHONE 01379 870506 or 0845 2691078



  • Norwich Foodbank


Henderson Business Centre,

51 Ivy Road,



Food donations can be made at the Foodbank Warehouse, Unit 14, Henderson Industrial Units, Ivy Road (off Bowthorpe Road), Norwich, NR5 8BF – open Mon, Thurs and Fri 9-1pm (excluding bank holidays). Please see our website for food bank centre opening times.

 PHONE0300 365 1123



  •      Hope Church Food Bank,

     Vinces Road,

    Diss IP22 4HG 

   Mon – Thursday 10:30 to 11:30

   In addition their Lounge is open for Tea/Coffee and a chat Mon & Friday 10:45 to 12pm          with fareshare food.


  •     Diss Youth Centre

    Community fridge at the youth centre

    Shelfanger road. Monday, Thursday, Friday. 6.30-8


  •       For Food Vouchers

     If you don’t have a voucher just call 0808 208 2138.


  • There are a variety of food banks local to the area. Please email: to receive food bank vouchers or information on how to apply for these.

Norfolk County Council (NCC)

NCC and Help for House Holds in Norfolk have put together this document highlighting help, advice and support available to homes in Norfolk.

Help with Living Costs