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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.

Data is published annually alternating between a full report and a set of Excel tables.

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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