Fewer poor children go to church schools

Church primary schools admit a lower proportion of poorer children compared with the numbers living locally, according to research published this week.

The study of England’s 17,319 primary schools finds that 14 per cent of children at church schools were eligible for free school meals, compared with 19 per cent of those within their postcode area.

In contrast to church schools, local authority community schools admitted a slightly higher proportion of poorer pupils than there were living locally.

The study says differences in the proportions of poorer children could partly be down to parents choosing not to apply to certain schools because of the costs of attendance, such as uniforms and extracurricular activities. The paper was written by Chris Waterman, executive director of the Confederation of Education and Children’s Services Managers.

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