Here are some interesting data from a comparison of Free School Meal entitlement in Wales between January 2008 and January 2009:
In January 2008 only three Welsh local authorities had more than 25% of pupils entitled to FSM's - Cardiff South and Penarth, Rhondda and Merthyr. By January 2009, there were six authorities, they were joined by Abaravon, Cynon Valley and Blaenau Gwent who had more than quarter of their pupils entitled to FSM
In 2008, both Brecon and Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire had less than 10% of pupils on FSM, but in 2009, only Brecon and Radnorshire was at less than 10%
The two authorities to have seen the biggest jump in percentages have been Blaenau Gwent from 22.1% to 26.7% and Wrecsam from 15.2% to 17.7%.
The movement hasn't all been one way, 5 authorities have seen the proportions fall over the year Arfon, Brecon & Radnorshire, Carmarthen West, Gower, Monmouth and Torfaen.
These proportions are likely to worsen even though we are technically out of a recession for the simple reason that the children of claimants of contributions based Job Seekers Allowance are not entitled to FSM and CBJSA claimants will be on that benefit for 6 months before they go onto Income based JSA when their children will be entitled to FSM; just another little anomaly in the benefits system.