Few pupils are both at grammar schools and on free school meals
19th Oct 2016
Pupils who both attend grammar schools and are entitled to free school meals represent one out of every thousand pupils generally.
“Just one in every thousand pupils is a child on free school meals in a grammar school”.
Lucy Powell MP, 19 October 2016
It’s worth studying this claim carefully. Ms Powell isn’t saying that only one in every 1,000 grammar school pupils is on free school meals. She’s saying that for every pupil who’s both on free school meals and in a grammar school, there are 999 who aren’t.
There are around 3.2 million children at state secondary schools in England as of January 2016, according to official statistics.
That’s around 4,000 children out of 3.2 million, or 0.001%.
The government says that it wants to look also at “the wider impact of selective education of those on low incomes or who just about manage”—not just the very poorest children. So it’s not only interested in students entitled to free school meals.
We’ve covered the evidence on grammar schools and free school meals pupils in more detail here.
This fact check is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions, factchecked. Read the roundup.