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Not a single child on free school meals in East Sussex attended top university
No children on free school meals in East Sussex made it to any of the countries' top universities, according to new figures.
The statistics published by the Department for Education show how children from poorer backgrounds are far less likely to attend Oxbridge than their better off peers.
But East Sussex was one of 16 local authorities in the UK where not a single school or college sent a child on free school meals to a Russell Group university.
The 24 leading universities, which include the London School of Economics, Oxford and Cambridge, are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector.
An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “Attending university provides a valuable experience for some young people, and there are a range of universities and university courses which meet the diverse needs and career aspirations of young adults.
“When considering further education, young people should look at a range of options and university is just one of these.
“The responsibility of the schools and colleges is to ensure that all students are given all the information, advice and guidance that they need to make a decision that is right for them.
“East Sussex County Council remains committed to raising standards at Key Stage 5 and supporting our schools and colleges to enable all young people to reach their full potential.”
In 2010/11 there were 120 students eligible for free school meals in East Sussex - compared to 100 in Brighton and Hove, 10 of which went to the country's top universities, and 110 in West Sussex.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “These statistics underline, yet again, the gap between the achievement of children from poorer backgrounds, and their better off peers.
“Too often the poorest children are left with no choice but the worst schools while the rich can send their children to private school or move house into the catchment area of a good school.
“That's why we're setting up free schools to give all parents, not just the rich, the choice of a good school, turning round failing schools and raising the quality of teaching.
“There are some brilliant results achieved by some schools and colleges - proving that deprivation need not be destiny.
“These are schools which instil a culture of strong discipline as well as high aspirations and high achievement in all their pupils.”
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