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Achievement and entitlement to free school meals

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  • Release date: 3 December 2015
  • Period covered: 2014-15
Data includes tables, graphs and the statistical model depicting the relationship between attainment and free school meals.

Following our public consultation in 2013 this output will now alternate between a full release (as in 2014) and a set of Excel tables. There is no change to the range of information being published, only its format. Quality information can be found in the 2014 version of this release.

Key points

  • The performance of pupils eligible for free school meals is consistently  improving for every indicator at every key stage.
  • However, their performance is lower than their non eligible counterparts at all key stages and indicators.
  • The gap in performance has generally narrowed over the last four years at Key Stages 2 and 3.
  • The trend is inconsistent at Key Stage 4. The gap fell in 2015  but has alternated between periods of increase and periods of decrease since 2008.
  • The gap in performance increases with key stage level.
  • There is a strong link between achievement and the level of entitlement to free school meals in secondary schools: as the level of FSM entitlement increases, the level of achievement decreases.


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