Free Schools and disadvantaged children: the data

 Proportion of pupils on Free Schools Meals a little over half national average

  • 9.4% of children in free schools entitled to free school meals
  • Canary Wharf College has just 2% on FSM compared with local average of 48%
  • Five schools have no children entitled to Free School Meals

We estimate that fewer than 400 children entitled to free school meals (FSM) are attending the first wave of free schools, according to data supplied under a Freedom of Information Act request by 23* of the 24 schools. The data shows that in these 23 schools just 9.4% of the 3811 children on roll were registered for free school meals in October 2011. Nationally, 16.7% of children are entitled to claim free school meals because their household income is below £16,000.

More significantly, when the data for individual schools is compared with that of their nearest five schools with the same age range all but one of the free schools are below average (the exception is Stour Valley Free School which has 9.1% FSM, compared with 7.7% in the nearest 5 schools with data). Only two – Ark Atwood Primary in Westminster and the Free School Norwich – have above their local authority average for FSM.

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