Most free schools take fewer deprived pupils than local average, figures show
Three-quarters of free schools have lower proportion of children eligible for free school meals than average in local authority.
At least three-quarters of the coalition's flagship free schools have admitted a lower proportion of deprived pupils than is average for their wider neighbourhood, government data shows.
Figures lodged in the House of Commons library by the Department for Education reveal that 18 of the 24 free schools that opened last autumn have taken a lower proportion of children eligible for free school meals than is average for schools with pupils of the same age group across their local authority.
To be entitled to a free school meal, a child's family income has to be below £16,000. Ministers had claimed that free schools would not disproportionately benefit better-off families and would empower working-class families.
According to the data, at St Luke's, a primary school in the London borough of Camden, the percentage of pupils registered as eligible for a free lunch is zero. The average proportion of children claiming the benefit in state primary schools across Camden is 38.8%.
Read more ... (The Guardian - 23 April)