Gap between independent and state school pupils entering University widens

The gap between the number of pupils who attended independent schools going to University compared with their state school peers has widened, according to government figures.

The Department of Education’s (DfE’s) ‘Widening participation in higher education’ statistics show that in 2013-14 85 per cent of independent school pupils went into higher education by the age of 19, compared to 62 per cent of those from state schools.

The gap was even more apparent for entrants into the most selective universities, with 64 per cent from independent schools getting into the most selective institutions compared to 23 per cent from state schools.

The figures show a large drop from the 71 per cent of state school pupils who entered into higher education in 2009-10.

The figures are notable as they cover the period when higher tuition fees of £9,000 were introduced, which it could be argued has contributed to the widening gap between independent and state educated pupils attending university.

Additionally, the percentage of pupils on free school meals going to university dropped for the first time in a decade. After seeing steady progress from 15 per cent in 2005-06 up to 23 per cent in 2012-13, the number of pupils on free school meals entering university dropped to 22 per cent in 2013-14.

Read more