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Achievement and entitlement to free school meals

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  • Release date: 7 December 2017
  • Period covered: 2017
Data includes tables, graphs and the statistical model depicting the relationship between attainment and free school meals (FSM).

For 2017 new performance indicators have been added for Key Stage 4, these are Capped 9 points, best of Maths, GCSE Maths and Maths Numeracy. Quality information can be found in the 2014 version of this report. The latest published information on Key Stage 4 can be found in the 2017 'Examination results' report.

Following recommendations from independent reviews and policy changes announced by Welsh Government, several key changes have been made to the Key Stage 4 performance measures data in this 2016/17 report which impacts on comparisons with previous years. Therefore, comparisons with previous years should be avoided in many cases. Please see the 'Examination results' report for full information on these changes.

Well-being of Wales

This release contains one of the National Well-being of Wales Indicators. National Indicator 7 is the average capped points score for each pupil based on their best 8 results and this can be found in the last column of table 4a.

Key points

National Targets for Key Stage 4

The changes described above mean that it is not possible to assess whether the target in the 'Tackling Poverty Action Plan' (for 37% of pupils eligible for free school meals to achieve the Level 2 inclusive threshold) has been met.

National Targets for the Foundation Phase

In December 2015 two new national targets were set for the Foundation Phase:

  1. A new national target of 80% of learners aged 7 eligible for free school meals achieving the expected level at the end of the Foundation Phase, as measured by the Foundation Phase Indicator, by 2017. The data published today shows that 75.9% of learner aged 7 eligible for free school meals achieved the Foundation Phase Indicator.
  2. A new national target to reduce the gap in attainment levels between learners aged 7 eligible for free school meals and those that are not eligible for free school meals, who achieve the expected levels at the end of the Foundation Phase, as measured by the Foundation Phase Indicator, by 34% by 2017. This equates to an absolute difference of 12 percentage points. In 2017 the difference in performance between pupils eligible for free school meals and those who are not is 14.3 percentage points.

Other key results for 2017

  • The performance of pupils eligible for free school meals at Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 are improving for the majority of indicators.
  • 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 Stage 3.
  • The gap in performance increases with each key stage.
  • 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.

Further information

This output is either published as a full report (as in 2014) or a set of Excel tables as for this year.

Contact

Statistician
Tel: 0300 025 5060
Email: school.stats@gov.wales

Media
Tel: 0300 025 8099

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