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Free School Meals

Volume 513: debated on Monday 12 July 2010

15. What assessment he has made of the educational achievement of pupils in receipt of free school meals in St Austell and Newquay constituency. (6970)

Information is published on an annual basis on the performance of all pupils, including those eligible for free school meals, and these can be accessed on the Department’s website. We have made a clear commitment to narrowing attainment gaps between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers through the pupil premium, and we will announce more details on these proposals in due course.

Children across the country who are in receipt of free school meals are only half as likely as their peers to get good GCSE results. Does the Minister agree with me that only the pupil premium proposed by this Government will address the educational inequality left by the previous Government?

I absolutely agree. The scandal of educational inequality left by the previous Government is testament to their legacy, and I am very sad that they have not been willing to support the pupil premium. I hope that, with their change of leader, they will consider a U-turn on this policy.

Order. It is always a pleasure to hear the hon. Lady, but I must observe in passing that Hampstead and Kilburn are some considerable distance from St Austell and Newquay.