This research report presents estimates of the numbers and proportions of pupils who are entitled to receive free school meals (FSM) but are not claiming. This is new analysis carried out using Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax credits and benefits data alongside information from the Department for Education's school census.
In order to put these new figures in context, the report begins by drawing together relevant existing statistics from the school census on patterns of pupils claiming FSM. This is followed by the new analysis looking at the proportion of entitled pupils who are claiming FSM (the registration rate), how this varies by age, and highlighting regions and local authorities where under-registration rates are high. The paper ends with a look at some of the pupil characteristics of those not claiming FSM.