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The Department for Education routinely collects information on pupils who are both eligible for and claiming free school meals. This information is published in the “Schools, Pupils and their Characteristics, January 2013” Statistical First Release1. Information on the number of pupils who are eligible for free school meals but do not claim them is not collected by the Department.
The Department has published a research paper “Pupils not claiming free school meals: 2013”2 which presents estimates of the numbers and proportions of pupils who are entitled to receive free school meals but are not claiming. The paper compares registration rates for children aged between 4 and 15 and highlights regions and local authorities where under-registration rates are high. Figures from this paper show the estimated under-registration rate for Liverpool local authority is 6% compared to an England average of 11 %.
1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-pupils-and -their-characteristics-january-2013
2 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupils-not-claiming -free-school-meals-2013