“A local authority must, in determining budget shares for both primary and secondary schools which they maintain, take into account in their formula a factor or factors based on the incidence of social deprivation among pupils registered at all such schools.” (18.2 The School Funding (Wales) Regulations 2010).
In order to comply with the above regulation, authorities use the Free School Meal rate to calculate the incidence of social deprivation. So every authority adds a factor to the formula to increase a school's budget based on the number of children at that school in receipt of free school meals.
Does this work? Are schools with higher rates of social deprivation actually getting any real financial uplift?
Rhondda Cynon Taf shows a strong correlation indicating that schools are receiving substantial additional financial support based on their incidence of social deprivation.
Note: 0.6 to 1 = strong positive correlation; 0.4 to 0.6 = moderate positive correlation; 0.15 to 0.4 = weak positive correlation; -0.15 to 0.15 = no correlation; -0.15 to -0.4 = weak negative correlation; -0.4 to -0.6 = moderate negative correlation; -0.6 to -1 = strong negative correlation.
The map shows the % rates of free school meals at individual schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf.