Government consults on definition of ‘ordinary working families’

Government consults on definition of 'ordinary working families'

The Department for Education has launched a consultation on proposals to officially label some pupils as coming from “ordinary working families”.

The consultation, published today, proposes to collect and analyse data on families earning below the median income level, but whose children don’t qualify for free school meals.

Initial analysis by the government suggests that around a third of children are from these families.

By finding out more on the educational outcomes of these children the government states it will have the “necessary insight” to “better inform policy making”.

A key question in the consultation is whether or not groups on modest incomes should officially be labelled as “ordinary working families”.

The document also asks for ideas on how best to create a database which will enable easier analysis of educational outcomes for children from these households.

The intention is to publish these measures alongside those for children on free meals and pupils with special needs.

Creating such a dataset requires the linking of pupils data with information on their parents’ income. The consultation invites views on how officials can best achieve this.

The consultation also ties in with Theresa May’s pledge to help “just about managing families” which featured in the Schools that Work for Everyone green paper.