The Liberal Democrats' flagship education policy to boost spending on Britain's poorest pupils has inadvertently created a new band of "super-deprived" children, a new report has shown.
Researchers revealed that around 200,000 of school pupils across Britain are missing out on free school meals that they are entitled to.
That means families are spending much needed cash and schools across England are missing out on pupil premium pay-outs of £600 for every child who qualifies for free school meals.
"Missing free school meal pupils are a third category of low achieving students, often not taking traditional qualifications at key stage 4, who are 'mobile' between schools and about whom their schools know less.
"They are frequently disadvantaged in other ways as well and have some appearance of a super-deprived and very low achieving group."
And Professor Stephen Gorard who led the research explained: "Pupils are moving to new schools without the paperwork to state their support needs, whether or not they need free school meals, whether their school will qualify for the pupil premium."
The Department of Education said it was redoubling its efforts to ensure the Pupil Premium reached pupils in the future.
"We are writing to local authorities with low take-up to remind them of the responsibility they share with the schools in their area to make sure that every eligible child is signed up," said a spokeswoman.
Foreign Minister Alistair Burt's admission that the Cameron government has "supported" a survey of attitudes to US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas amounts to a tacit admission of British involvement.