The sections below summarise the Free School Meal (FSM) eligibility data collected by the Department for Education through their annual Spring Census on Pupil Characteristics in England.
The following link provides access to an interactive web map which gives summary data from the school census by sub-county geographical areas:
Interactive Map: Free School Meal Eligibility by Sub-county areas
Local FSM Dashboard (School Census Data)
Data in this section is derived from postcode level, pupil data from the Autumn Census and covers only those pupils living in County Durham and attending schools in County Durham. This section provides information on FSM eligibility by local areas (Ward, Area Action Partnership (AAP) and Family First Areas (FFA))
The following dashboard summarises these findings: (Click on the ‘3 dots’ in the top right corner of this dashboard to view full screen or download the dashboard as a pdf.)
The Spring 2021 extract contained approximately 74,000 records of which around 2,200 were living in areas outside of the county or could not be geographically located due to incorrect/unknown postcode data. The following is based upon the remaining 71,770 pupils who live in the county and attend schools here.
- Around 19,900 pupils were eligible for FSM in the county in the Spring 2021, representing 27.7% of all registered pupils up from 23.9% (17,200 pupils) in the Spring 2020 Census,
- Aycliffe West ward had the highest proportion of pupils eligible for FSM at 46.5%, up from 40.8% in the Spring 2020 Census, followed by Peterlee East at 45.3%, (39% previously). Of the 63 wards, 30 had higher proportions than the county average (27.7%),
- The Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP had the highest proportion of pupils eligible for FSM at 35.6%, up from 30.8% in the Spring 2020 Census, followed by the 4 Together AAP with 34.1%, up from 30.6%. Of the 14 AAPs, 6 had higher proportions than the county average,
- The Shildon, South Church & Chilton FFA had the highest proportion of pupils eligible for FSM at 36.3%, up from ,31.6% previously, followed by Ferryhill FFA at 35.6%, up from 32.6% previously. Of the 14 FFAs, 7 had higher proportions than the county average,
- The South Durham LPMA had the highest proportion of pupils eligible for FSM at 34.3% up from 29.5% in the Spring 2020 Census, followed by the East Durham LPMA with 33.3%. Of the 9 LPMAs 4 had higher proportions than the county average.
Summary (DfE Data)
The following is extracted from the Department for Education Spring Census dataset and shows the percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals.
Note: The source data for this indicator is incomplete, with data not available for all schools. The percentage eligible has been calculated using the number of pupils on school rolls only for schools where data on the number of pupils eligible was available.
- Between 2015 and 2020 the number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals increased to 26.4% rising to over 19,400 eligible pupils, higher than the national figure of 19.7%,
- Across the North East number pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals increased to 26.3%.
Click on the ‘3 dots’ in the top right corner of this dashboard to view full screen or download the dashboard as a pdf.
Department for Education School Census: Source: Department for Education – School Census
Children in Poverty: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-201415-to-201819/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-201415-to-201819