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Improve all schools to help ‘just managing’ families

For years governments have focused on helping the very poorest pupils – largely because they haven’t had enough money to help all children from impoverished families

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Debate on the government’s Green Paper has focused on its most contentious proposals for selective, faith and private schools. There’s been little attention paid to a technical discussion at the beginning that gives us a big clue about the new administration’s priorities.

In this section, the government argues that its predecessors’ use of free school meals (FSM) as the main proxy for “poor” has led to a distorted focus on the 14 per cent of eligible pupils rather than the wider pool of children who are not in desperate poverty but whose families are “just managing”. In the Green Paper ...

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