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Pupils: Disadvantaged

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of children (a) entitled and (b) not entitled to free school meals obtained (i) five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C and (ii) five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and mathematics in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement. (187141)

The available information is given in the following table.

Proportion of pupils achieving 5 A*-C grades at GCSE by free school meal status, 2002 to 20071

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

All pupils2

Number

591,391

576,084

591,774

584,259

594,417

600,968

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C

49.0

50.7

51.9

54.9

56.9

59.3

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C including English and Mathematics

n/a

n/a

n/a

42.5

43.8

45.4

Eligible for free school meals

Number

80,626

81,278

82,738

79,839

78,179

76,641

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C

23.0

24.4

26.1

29.9

32.6

35.5

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C including English and Mathematics

n/a

n/a

n/a

18.0

19.5

21.1

Not eligible for free school meals

Number

477,798

493,336

508,060

501,857

514,779

522,088

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C

53.7

55.2

56.1

58.9

60.7

62.8

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C including English and Mathematics

n/a

n/a

n/a

46.4

47.5

49.0

n/a = not available.

1 Figures for 2002 to 2004 are based upon pupils aged 15 whereas figures from 2005 onwards are based upon pupils at the end of Key Stage 4.

2 Includes pupils with unclassified Free School Meal status.

The percentage achieving 5 A*-C grades including English and Mathematics has only been published since 2005.

Figures have been taken from the Statistical First Release ‘National Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and Equivalent Attainment and Post-16 Attainment by Pupil Characteristics, in England’ which has been published annually by the Department since 2002. The latest figures, for 2007, are at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000759/index. shtml.

Figures for earlier years are not available split by free school meal status as this was first collected at pupil level on the School Census in 2002.