Top-performing comprehensive schools that are responsible for their own admissions policies take a much lower proportion of disadvantaged children than live in their local area, new research claims.
The type of trust schools proposed in the schools white paper would be independent of local authorities and free to set their own admissions policies. The study by the educational charity the Sutton Trust warned they could become “socially selective” unless there were adequate safeguards.
It found that 5.8 per cent of pupils were eligible for free school meals at the 139 top-performing comprehensive schools that were responsible for their own admissions, but 13.7 per cent of children were eligible in the schools’ local areas.
It also said that the 61 council-controlled schools in the top 200 were more representative of their local areas.