Free school pupils less likely to need free meals
The proportion of children who attend free schools and are eligible for free meals is half the national average.
Freedom of Information requests sent to all 24 free schools revealed that 10 per cent of pupils could claim free lunches, which are available to pupils from low-income households. The national average is just less than 17 per cent.
The writer and free schools champion Toby Young said the discrepancy, revealed in figures published yesterday on the education blog SchoolDuggery, was because "[free] schools are perceived to be above average, and middle-class parents are generally more energetic about trying to secure the best possible opportunities for their children than parents on low incomes".
Earlier, Mr Young, who co-founded the West London Free School, accused the blog's author of lying: "This is utter balls," he wrote in a reply. "We haven't received an FOI request." He said a claim his school had no pupils with Special Educational Needs was "a flat-out lie", adding: "If you have to resort to these lies to discredit the free schools policy, you've lost the argument."
Mr Young later apologised after the blogger posted an email showing that the figures were real. He said: "I wasn't aware the school had received an FOI request... let alone replied to it, so I assumed [the blogger] must be making it up."
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Year 4 Teacher - NestonRandsta...
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Year 6 Teacher - ChesterRandst...
£17000 - £20500 per annum: Randstad Education Birmingham: Working with the edu...
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Year 3/4 Teacher - Daily Suppl...