Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rich Pupils ‘Twice as Likely to Attend a Top University’

by Schools Improvement Net:

Richer pupils are twice as likely to go to one of the UK’s top universities than those from the poorest homes, according to new figures published by the DfE. This is from the Telegraph …

Teenagers who are eligible for free school meals (FSM) - a key measure of poverty - are also still slightly less likely to go to any university, or to go on to work or training, the data shows.

It also reveals that white 18-year-olds are less likely to continue studying, or go on to employment or training than those from other ethnic groups.

The statistics, published by the Department for Education (DfE) give new information on the background of pupils and what they went on to do after finishing their GCSEs or A-levels.

The results show that poorer teenagers are less likely to continue their studies, whether they leave school at 16 or 18. Around 46% of FSM students went on to higher education at the age of 18 in 2010/11, compared to 48% of their non-FSM peers.

Just 4% of those eligible for free dinners went to a Russell Group university - considered among the top in the country - making them half as likely to go as their richer classmates (9% went in 2010/11). And 0.1% of FSM pupils went to Oxford or Cambridge, compared to 1% of those not on FSM.

Among 16-year-olds, more than four fifths (82%) of those claiming free dinners went on to education, employment or training, compared to nine in 10 (90%) of other pupils.

Poorer pupils were most likely to go to a further education college, the statistics show, while richer students were most likely to attend a school sixth form.

The Russell Group said its universities were ”committed to ensuring our doors are wide open” to students from all backgrounds, with the potential and ability to succeed, but added that under-achievement at school, and a lack of good advice were partly responsible for fewer poor students attending the institutions.

More at:  Rich pupils ‘twice as likely to attend a top university’

It would be interesting to know how FSM pupils perform against these criteria relative to the results they achieve. Are they, for example, less likely to go to a Russell group university just because they have on average a lower performance in GCSEs and A levels, or is their performance better or worse than these results alone would predict with other factors coming into play? What do you make of the figures? Please share in the comments or on twitter … 

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