Children who qualify for free school meals for just one year become “invisible underachievers” who receive little government support but achieve similar results to those who remain on free school meals during their entire school career.
Research from education data analysts FFT found that the group makes up around 7% of year 11 pupils, meaning that almost 40,000 students suffer similar levels of deprivation but receive fewer of the benefits, in most cases because their household income is just above the £16,000 threshold.
Those who received FSM for only one year average a D grade at GCSE – only slightly above those who are on the meals continuously, but almost a grade lower than pupils who have never received them.
Locally, Madison plans to expand its “free meal” program. Will this address Madison’s long standing disastrous reading results?