Private school pupils five times more likely to get into Oxbridge

Just one per cent of state school pupils from Portsmouth won a place at a top university

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The Independent Online

Pupils from private schools are five times more likely to win places at Oxbridge than youngsters from a state school, Government figures revealed today.

Despite a high-profile drive to open up access to the top universities, only one in 100 state school pupils goes on to Oxbridge, compared to one in 20 students from independent schools, according to data published for the first time by the Department for Education.

Private school pupils are also more than three times as likely to attend a Russell Group university with 38 per cent of students from the fee-paying sector winning places compared to just 11 per cent from state schools.

It also shows a stark divide in a student's chances of a top university place based on the type of school they attend.

A government analysis of the data shows that 287 state schools and colleges (about 13 per cent) had no pupils going on to a Russell Group university, compared to 359 the year before.

A total of 1,373 state school and colleges (about 63 per cent) sent no pupils to Oxford or Cambridge in 2011, down from 1,394 in 2010.

The breakdown also revealed the differences in pupils' chances of a top university place across the country.

In Reading, 38 per cent of state school pupils went to a Russell Group university, with 26 per cent in Sutton and 25 per cent in Buckinghamshire.

However, just one per cent of Portsmouth's school and college leavers won a place at one of these top universities, along with two per cent in Knowsley, Merseyside.

Schools Minister David Laws said: "We are publishing this data so people can see for themselves how different schools, colleges and local authorities perform. It is right that parents have as much information as possible on which to base decisions for their children's education.

"Some students will be aiming to get a job after college, others will be hoping to win a place at a great university. But all schools and colleges must ensure they deliver for all their students - whatever that student's target."