WHITE British boys entitled to free school meals in Bucks are most at risk of low achievement during secondary school, a professor revealed this week.

Professor Steve Strand, an education specialist, talked on Tuesday to a Buckinghamshire County Council committee about the pupils most at risk as a result of deprivation within the county.

The University of Oxford academic presented his findings to the Education, Skills and Children’s Services select committee on the attainment gap between socially and economically deprived pupils and their peers in Bucks.

He said a group particularly at risk of low achievement during secondary school was white British boys entitled to free school meals.

The study and the evidence given by Professor Strand form part of the committee’s ongoing review into academic achievement across the county.

Val Letheren, committee chairman, said: "Raising children’s attainment levels across the board is a continuing priority for both the select committee and the council. Professor Strand’s analysis will focus the county's future work in helping to ensure that all children have the opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability."

Following detailed questions from the committee to Professor Strand, the committee also received evidence from Chauhdry Shafique MBE and Rashida Kazi from the Muslim Parents Association, Mike Appleyard - cabinet member for Education and Skills, Chris Munday, service director at BCC and Amanda Hopkins - director of education at the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust.

The next meeting on July 1 will consider the annual in-depth report on educational attainment in Bucks across the board.