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Publication - Statistics Publication

Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living, No.6: 2016 Edition

Published: 22 Jun 2016
ISBN:
9781786523303

This publication presents post review attainment for 2014/15 school leavers, initial and follow-up school leaver destinations for 2014/15, and information on the healthy living survey taken in February 2016.

35 page PDF

745.3kB

35 page PDF

745.3kB

Contents
Summary statistics for attainment, leaver destinations and healthy living, No.6: 2016 Edition
5. School Meals

35 page PDF

745.3kB

5. School Meals

  • 37.8% (255,136) of pupils were registered for free school meals (38.7% in 2015).
  • Of those registered for free school meals and present on the survey day 81.5% took a free meal (80.1% in 2015).
  • Of those pupils present on the survey day 58.1% took a meal (free or paid for) supplied by the school (56.5% in 2015).

5.1 In 2012, a new Healthy Living Survey was introduced which incorporated the old school meals survey and new questions on Physical Education. This is an annual survey, normally collected in February each year, of all publicly funded schools in Scotland. The school meal part of this survey collects information on the uptake of meals, both free and paid for, and registration for and uptake of free school meals. Only meals taken at lunchtime are included. Breakfast clubs are not included.

5.2 Information on levels of free school meal registration and school meal uptake is used to monitor the impact of Scottish Government policies around reducing the impact of deprivation and promoting healthy eating. In recent years, the Government has taken actions intended to increase free school meal uptake. These are:

  • The extension of free school meal eligibility to include all children in P1-P3 from January 2015.
  • The extension of free school meal eligibility in August 2009 to include children whose parents or carers are in receipt of both maximum child tax credit and maximum working tax credit.
  • For the purposes of this collection it is assumed that all P1-P3 pupils are registered for free school meals.

5.3 In 2016, the number of pupils registered for free school meals reduced by 4,305 on the previous year to 255,136 pupils, which is 37.8 per cent of the total school roll. In 2015 38.7% of pupils were registered for free school meals.

5.4 The percentage of pupils present on the survey day who took a meal (free or paid for) supplied by the school increased from 56.5 per cent in 2015 to 58.1 per cent in 2016 (Table 9a). The percentage of P1-P3 pupils present on the survey day who took a free school meal increased from 78.9% in 2015 to 81.7% in 2016, the second year since the extension of free school meals to all P1-P3 pupils was introduced. The total number of P1-P3 pupils taking a free school meal increased by almost 5,000 from 129,674 in 2015 to 134,667 in 2016 (Table 9b).

5.5 In the past, statistics from this survey on the percentage of pupils registered for free school meals have been widely used as a measure of school level deprivation. However, as a result of the extension of free school meals eligibility to all children in P1-P3, launched by the Scottish Government on 5 January 2015, this will no longer be a reliable measure to use. Secondary school data is unaffected by these changes and so it is still possible for this to be used as an indicator of deprivation. However, this has limitations as the percentage of pupils registered falls throughout secondary. It may also be possible to use P4-P7 data as an indicator of deprivation, although there is only comparable data on this from 2015.

Table 9a. Pupils taking school meals (free or paid for) and registered taking free school meals by sector, 2011 to 2016

    2011 1 2012 2 2013 3 2014 2 2015 4,5 2016
Pupils registered for free meals Total 131,254 130,477 130,585 126,388 259,441 255,136
Primary 82,772 81,096 81,364 77,791 213,199 212,175
Secondary 44,441 45,077 45,018 44,224 41,744 39,280
Special 4,041 4,304 4,203 4,373 4,498 3,681
Percentage of pupils registered for free meals Total 19.7 19.6 19.6 18.8 38.7 37.8
Primary 22.6 22.1 22.0 20.6 55.3 54.1
Secondary 15.2 15.4 15.5 15.5 15.0 14.2
Special 58.2 60.6 59.4 60.7 63.0 55.7
Pupils registered and present taking free meals Total 93,977 97,096 97,542 95,444 192,670 194,164
Primary 65,856 66,464 65,717 63,986 162,799 166,454
Secondary 24,840 26,991 28,249 27,739 26,264 24,811
Special 3,281 3,641 3,576 3,719 3,607 2,899
Percentage of registered pupils present taking free meals Total 82.3 83.6 84.2 85.0 80.1 81.5
Primary 87.6 89.0 88.4 88.7 80.5 82.7
Secondary 69.9 71.7 74.7 76.6 76.4 73.9
Special 95.1 94.7 94.7 94.8 90.3 89.8
Pupils present and taking meals (free or paid for) Total 294,849 301,820 305,062 313,022 353,841 365,918
Primary 180,791 186,081 186,271 192,666 237,404 246,821
Secondary 108,981 110,376 113,587 115,150 111,562 114,586
Special 5,077 5,363 5,204 5,206 4,875 4,511
Percentage of those present taking meals (free or paid for) Total 47.8 48.7 49.5 49.8 56.5 58.1
Primary 51.9 53.2 53.2 53.2 64.6 66.0
Secondary 41.6 41.8 43.7 44.4 44.2 45.8
Special 83.4 83.9 83.1 81.7 78.0 77.7

1. In August 2010, local initiatives increased eligibility for free school meals see background notes 3.3.3 and 3.3.4.
2. In 2012 and 2014, primary school free meal registrations were affected by a reduction in the number of local authorities with local initiatives.
3. In 2013, the Healthy Living Survey was carried out in March due to publicity around the presence of horse meat in some food products.
4. On 5 January 2015, the Scottish Government launched the extension of free school meals eligibility to include all children in P1-P3.
5. Figures on percentage uptake that were originally published were amended in June 2016. See background note 3.3.6 for details.

5.6 Between 2011 and 2014, primary school data was not a reliable indicator of relative deprivation between local authorities due to the local free school meal initiatives for children in P1-P3. However between 2012 and 2014, estimates of national free school meal registrations were calculated in order to provide a reliable measure of deprivation. In 2014, an estimated 76,392 primary pupils were registered for free school meals under national eligibility criteria, equivalent to 20.2 per cent of primary pupils, compared to 20.8 per cent in 2013. See background note 3.3.5 for details.

Table 9b. Primary pupils taking school meals (free or paid for) and registered taking free school meals by sector 2011 to 2016

    2011 1 2012 2 2013 3 2014 2 2015 4,5 2016
Pupils registered for free meals Total Primary 82,772 81,096 81,364 77,791 213,199 212,175
P1-P3 N/A N/A N/A N/A 172,284 172,912
P4-P7 N/A N/A N/A N/A 40,915 39,263
Percentage of pupils registered for free meals Total Primary 22.6 22.1 22.0 20.6 55.3 54.1
P1-P3 N/A N/A N/A N/A 100.0 100.0
P4-P7 N/A N/A N/A N/A 19.2 17.9
Pupils registered and present taking free meals Total Primary 65,856 66,464 65,717 63,986 162,799 166,454
P1-P3 N/A N/A N/A N/A 129,674 134,667
P4-P7 N/A N/A N/A N/A 33,125 31,787
Percentage of registered pupils present taking free meals Total Primary 87.6 89.0 88.4 88.7 80.5 82.7
P1-P3 N/A N/A N/A N/A 78.9 81.7
P4-P7 N/A N/A N/A N/A 87.5 87.3
Pupils present and taking meals (free or paid for) Total Primary 180,791 186,081 186,271 192,666 237,404 246,821
P1-P3 N/A N/A N/A N/A 129,674 134,667
P4-P7 N/A N/A N/A N/A 107,730 112,154
Percentage of those present taking meals (free or paid for) Total Primary 51.9 53.2 53.2 53.2 64.6 66.0
P1-P3 N/A N/A N/A N/A 78.9 81.7
P4-P7 N/A N/A N/A N/A 53.1 53.7

1. In August 2010, local initiatives increased eligibility for free school meals see background notes 3.3.3 and 3.3.4.
2. In 2012 and 2014, primary school free meal registrations were affected by a reduction in the number of local authorities with local initiatives.
3. In 2013, the Healthy Living Survey was carried out in March due to publicity around the presence of horse meat in some food products.
4. On 5 January 2015, the Scottish Government launched the extension of free school meals eligibility to include all children in P1-P3.
5. Figures on percentage uptake that were originally published were amended in June 2016. See background note 3.3.6 for details.

5.7 As an alternative to using the percentage of pupils registered for free school meals as a measure of deprivation, statistics on the percentage of pupils in each school who live in the 20% most deprived data zones in Scotland are now available in the school contact list: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/Datasets/contactdetails

5.8 School meals data by urban/rural classification, size of school and local authority is available in the supplementary tables. A list of the tables available is in the background notes section. School level information on school meals is also available. This can be found at the following address: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/SchoolMealsDatasets


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