Schools in the Anglia region are missing out on more than £22 million in government funding just because some parents don't want to register their children for free school meals.
The pupil premium gives £900 to schools for every pupil who has signed up for the benefit. They can then use the money to support disadvantaged pupils.
But many believe the stigma attached to getting free school meals is stopping parents registering and stopping schools getting the vital cash.
Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Elodie Harper