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Free meals are not enough

Aberdeen is joining headteachers in dismissing the schools characteristic index, which uses free meals to group schools in similar socio-economic circumstances from which similar levels of performance will be expected.

The council points out that the city has three times the number of pupils on clothing grants as on free meals, although the criteria for both are very similar.

While the Scottish Office says it is up to each authority to sort out its free meal arrangements, Aberdeen's director says that this will make no difference since schools are going to be compared across Scotland and not within each authority.

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