Pupils on free school meals do far worse in GCSEs in selective Kent compared to non-selective London.
Correct, although London is well ahead of the rest of England as well.
“The evidence, Mr Speaker, of the effects of selection is this. In Kent, which has a grammar school system, 27% of the pupils on free school meals get 5 good GCSEs, compared with 45% in London.”
Jeremy Corbyn, 14 September 2016
This is correct. In 2014/15, 46% of pupils in London known to be eligible for free school meals got between a C and an A* in five or more GCSE subjects, including maths and English.
In Kent, it was 27%.
There aren’t many grammar schools in London, whereas Kent is one of the few areas of the country to have a selective system.
But London outperforms the rest of England as a whole when it comes to the exam results of free school meals pupils—not just selective Kent. Across English regions outside of London, 30% get 5 good GCSEs, not much higher than Kent.
That doesn’t take away from the argument as a whole. In Kent and neighbouring Medway, “poorer children lag further behind, richer children move further ahead” than both London and the rest of England, as research by Chris Cook for the BBC has shown.
Children eligible for free school meals are far less likely to get into grammar schools in the first place.
This factcheck is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions. Read the roundup.
We need facts more than ever.
Right now, it’s difficult to know what or who to trust. Misinformation is spreading. Politics and the media are being pushed to the limit by advancements in technology and uncertainty about the future. We need facts more than ever.
This is where you come in. Your donation is vital for our small, independent team to keep going, at the time when it’s needed most. With your help, we can keep factchecking and demanding better from our politicians and public figures. We can give more people the tools to decide for themselves what to believe. We can intervene more effectively where false claims cause most harm.
Become a donor today and stand up for better public debate, on all sides, across the UK.