Latest Public Sector News

13.04.15

New figures highlight poverty link to poor GCSE performance in Wales

Pupils across Wales who are eligible for free school meals (FSMs) –  a measure of deprivation – are statistically less likely to achieve five A*-C GCSEs, including English or Welsh and maths (Level 2+), new data has revealed. 

The figures, compiled by the Welsh Government, break down the country’s four regional education consortia and found a striking difference between attainment levels of those 15-year-old pupils receiving FSMs and those who don’t. 

The South East Wales consortium has the lowest FSM achievement rate, with only 26.2% of its eligible pupils hitting the Level 2+ target. This is compared to 58.7% non-FSM pupils in the region. 

In Central South Wales, FSM Level 2+ attainment was only 26.7%, in South West and Mid Wales 28.9% achieved the grades; and in North Wales it was 30.5%. 

A spokeswoman for the Welsh Government told WalesOnline that “important progress” in closing the attainment gap was being made. 

She added: “Recent figures show that the performance of pupils eligible for FSM is at an all-time high at every key stage.” 

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