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Participation gap grows for ‘free school meal’ students

Image: christopher_brown [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Department for Education data show changing picture in university recruitment rates

The gap in university participation between students who received free school meals and those who did not was the largest in 2019-20 for almost 15 years, according to the Department for Education, although the overall participation rate has increased for both groups.

Data published by the DfE on 14 October show that the rate of students in England who received free meals at school going on to higher education by the age of 19 was 26.6 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent in the previous year and a record high for participation among this group.

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