Assessing current and potential provision of free school meals

Sector: Economics of Education | Education and Labour Markets | Secondary education
Client: N/A
Published: June, 2008
Document type: Report 
Tagged: England quantitative analysis

London Economics were commissioned by the School Food Trust to undertake a forensic analysis of the number (and proportion) of school children in England eligible for Free School Meals (not just those registered). The research was based on information from the Labour Force Survey, General Household Survey and Family Resources Survey. The findings illustrated that in addition to the 1.075 million children currently registered for free school meals, there are approximately 334,000 children that are eligible for free school meals but are not registered.

The report illustrates that the HM Treasury definition of children living in relative poverty is equivalent to household income of approximately £12,300 per annum, whereas the current eligibility criteria for free school meals is equivalent to setting a household income threshold of £10,000, significantly below the relative poverty line.