NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ891041
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0141-1926
Is Children's Free School Meal "Eligibility" a Good Proxy for Family Income?
Hobbs, Graham; Vignoles, Anna
British Educational Research Journal, v36 n4 p673-690 Aug 2010
Family income is an important factor associated with children's educational achievement. However, key areas of UK research (for example, on socially segregated schooling) and policy (for example, the allocation of funding to schools) rely on children's free school meal (FSM) "eligibility" to proxy family income. This article examines the relationship between children's FSM "eligibility" and equivalent net household income in a nationally representative survey of England (the Family Resources Survey). It finds that children "eligible" for FSM are much more likely than other children to be in the lowest income households. However, only around one-quarter to one-half of them were in the lowest income households in 2004/5. This is principally because the receipt of means-tested benefits (and tax credits) pushes children eligible for FSM up the household income distribution. The implications for key areas of research and policy are discussed. (Contains 8 notes, 5 tables, and 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United Kingdom (England)