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GCSE

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many students in receipt of free school meals took English literature GCSE in (a) 1997, (b) 2003 and (c) the latest year for which figures are available. (252600)

[holding answer 29 January 2009]: It is not possible to provide figures for 1997, prior to 2002 data on pupil characteristics (including free school meal eligibility) was not matched to achievement and attainment data.

In 2003, in maintained schools in England, 56,723 (70 per cent.) pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year, who were eligible to receive free school meals attempted GCSE English literature.

In 2008, in maintained schools in England, 46,924 (63 per cent.) pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year, who were eligible to receive free school meals attempted GCSE English literature.

In 2003, 423,701 (86 per cent.) pupils (aged 15 at the start of the academic year) not eligible to receive free school meals attempted GCSE English literature in maintained schools.

In 2008, 421,095 (81 per cent.) pupils (aged 15 at the start of the academic year) not eligible to receive free school meals attempted GCSE English literature in maintained schools.