Free School Meals (FSM)
- As of January 2017, there were a total of 7,249 pupils on the school roll in Somerset eligible for free school meals – accounting for 10.5% of the school population.
- Eligibility for Free School Meals is used as an indicator for deprivation.
- Attainment gaps between pupils from low-income families and their more affluent peers exist through all key stages of education.
- An estimated 13% of state-funded Somerset school pupils who received Free School Meals (FSM) at age 15 entered Higher Education by age 19 (in the 2014/15 academic year) according to figures from the Department for Education. This compares to 32% for non-FSM pupils.
- An Ofsted report, Access and Achievement, (June 2013) revealed that disadvantaged white children in rural areas and coastal towns are the biggest underperformers in British schools. It also revealed that children from affluent families are nearly twice as likely to leave school with five good GCSEs as those from underprivileged backgrounds.
- According to a Department for Education report in 2013, an estimated 20% of pupils in Somerset who were eligible to receive free school meals did not claim them. This was well above the national average (11%) and South West average (14%).
Numbers and % of Somerset pupils eligible for Free School Meals (FSM)
||Pupils eligible for FSM
|All Through School
|Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)
Source: Somerset School Census, January 2017
Note: The School Census collects periods of free school meal eligibility by virtue of familiy deprivation. The table above relates to those pupils with a current period of eligibility at the census date. The above data does not relate to pupils taking a free school meal by virtue of the universal entitlement to a school meal for infant pupils.
For more details on the educational attainment of pupils eligible for free school meals, please go to our attainment page.