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GCSE: Disadvantaged

Question for Department for Education

UIN 49073, tabled on 18 October 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of free school meal students in (a) selective and (b) non-selective schools achieved five A* to C grades at GCSE in each of the last three years.

Answered on

2 November 2016

The Department’s main measures of secondary school performance are now Progress 8, Attainment 8, Ebacc achievement and entry and pupils achieving a Good Pass in mathematics and English. Progress 8 will be used to identify schools beneath the floor. The latest statistics are available in the ‘GCSE and equivalent results: 2015 to 2016 (provisional) in England’ National Statistics release[1], although breakdowns by pupil characteristics including free school meals is not available until January 2017.

The table below provides the information that you require for the last three years available.

Percentage of pupils known to be eligible for FSM achieving 5+ A*-C grade GCSEs




Selective schools




Non-selective schools




All state-funded mainstream schools





[2] In 2013/14, two major reforms were implemented which affect the calculation of key stage 4 performance measures data: 1) Professor Alison Wolf’s Review of Vocational Education recommendations which: restrict the qualifications counted; prevent any qualification from counting as larger than one GCSE; and cap the number of non-GCSEs included in performance measures at two per pupil, and 2) an early entry policy to only count a pupil’s first attempt at a qualification, in subjects counted in the English Baccalaureate. Consequently, the numbers supplied prior to 2013/14 are not comparable with those from 2013/14 onwards.

[3] In 2014/15, early entry policy, under which only a pupil’s first attempt at a qualification is counted in performance measures, was extended to all subjects.