Excellent use of FOIA here
by fellow schools blogger @SchoolDuggery
( definitely worth a follow on Twitter) . I won't repeat the substance since it needs to be read in full, but the key point is that the numbers of children on FSM in the first tranche of free schools is just over half the national average, and much lower in most cases than the proportion in neighbouring schools. Even if these new schools are in deprived areas, they don't appear to be taking in the deprived children from those communities. Canary Wharf College
, whose admissions criteria
include prioritising children of the founders ( even though that is not permissable under the current admissions code) only has 2% of pupils on FSM, compared to a local average of 48%.
Also some interesting data regarding SEN pupils and class size, and an entertaining exchange between the Chair of Governors of the West London Free School and the author of the blog about that school's SEN provision, which leads directly back to the still secret funding agreements which neither the free schools or DFE seem willing to share with the public that funds them.
Anyway so much, for now, for the claim that free schools are the shock troops that are going to revolutionise education for poor children.