Pandemic sees 13pc rise in Redbridge pupils eligible for free school meals

File photo dated 28/08/09 of a school meal being served as around 900,000 children from low-income f

Redbridge saw a 13 per cent increase in the number of school pupils eligible for free school meals between 2019/20 and 2020/21, according to government figures. - Credit: PA

The number of Redbridge children eligible for free school meals has risen over the course of the pandemic, Department for Education figures have revealed. 

Redbridge saw a 13 per cent increase in the number of school pupils eligible for free school meals between 2019/20 and 2020/21. 

In a year, the number of eligible children in the borough went from 7,596 to 8,611. 

That means 14.7pc of Redbridge children are now eligible, compared to 13pc in 2019/20. 

Loxford School, in Loxford Lane, was the school in the borough with the highest number of children eligible for free school meals. 


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In 2020/21, the school has 701 eligible pupils, 51 more than the year before and the eighth highest in the country. 

Atam Academy in Chadwell Heath saw the largest percentage increase in the number of its pupils who are eligible for the scheme. 

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This year, 64 of the academy’s pupils are eligible, more than double the 30 who could claim in 2019/20. 

Meanwhile, Hatton School and Special Needs Centre had the highest proportion of eligible pupils; 38pc of their student body have the right to claim free school meals.

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