Children who claim free school meals go on to earn less than their peers on average despite achieving the same level of education, according to new data.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said data published on Thursday showed a “persistent earnings gap” between those who received free school meals and other students.

Free school meals (FSM) are available for pupils who live in a household with an income of £7,500 or less, and attend a state-funded school.

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