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The change in the FSM gap

Key points

  • Since 2009/10 the gap in GCSE attainment between pupils eligible for free school meals and other pupils has narrowed in Outer London and the rest of England while it has slightly widened in Inner London.
  • Nonetheless the gap is smallest in Inner London, followed by Outer London then the rest of England.

The change in the FSM gap

What does the graph show?

The graph above shows how the gap in attainment between pupils eligible for free school meals and those that are not has changed between 2009/10 and 2012/13 (as the data for 2013/14 is not directly comparable). The graph shows this for Inner London, Outer London and the rest of England.

Over the four-year period free school meals pupils improved slightly more in percentage point terms than non-free school meals pupils in Outer London and the rest of England, so the gap between the two has decreased. But in Inner London, attainment of non-free school meal pupils has improved more in percentage point terms than free school meals pupils so the gap has slightly widened. In fact, in 2009/10 the proportion of non-free school meal pupils not meeting the target standard in Inner London was slightly higher than the rest of England (at 42% and 41% respectively); by 2012/13 it was lower in Inner London than the rest of England (at 32% and 36%).

Despite the slight increase in the attainment gap in Inner London, at 14 percentage points, it is still considerably smaller than Outer London or the rest of England, at 22 and 29 percentage points respectively.

Data used

GCSE and equivalent attainment by pupil characteristics, DfE

Indicator last updated: 19 October 2015