Rich pupils get the best university places

Just 0.1 per cent of students on free school meals win places at Oxbridge, according to DfE figures

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.

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 per cent of FSM students went on to higher education at the age of 18 in 2010/11, compared to 48 per cent% of their non-FSM peers.

Just 4 per cent 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 per cent went in 2010/11).

And 0.1 per cent of FSM pupils went to Oxford or Cambridge, compared to one per cent of those not on FSM.

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

A breakdown by ethnic background shows that Asian students were the most likely to go on to education, employment or training after completing their A-levels.

In total, 80 per cent of Asian students went on to further study or work in 2010/11, compared to 79 per cent of students from 'other' ethnic groups, 78 per cent of black students, 72 per cent of those from mixed backgrounds and 69% of white students.

Around two thirds of Asian students (66 per cent) and students of 'other' ethnic groups (65 per cent) went on to university, compared to 61 per cent of black students, 52 per cent of those from mixed backgrounds, and 46 per cent of white students.

A government analysis of the data suggests a disparity between local authorities in the numbers of poorer children going to leading universities.

In Trafford, Manchester, Kirklees and Stockport at least 10 per cent of FSM pupils were admitted to one of 24 Russell Group institutions.

But in 16 other areas, not a single pupil went to one of these universities, the DfE said.

These local authorities are Merton, Sandwell, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, East Riding of Yorkshire, North East Lincolnshire, Milton Keynes, East Sussex, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bracknell Forest, West Berkshire, Reading, Halton, Isle of Wight and Northumberland.

The figures also show that nationally, the same proportions of pupils on free school meals go on to do an apprenticeship at age 16 and 18 as those not on FSM.

A DfE spokesman said: "These statistics underline, yet again, the gap between the achievement of children from poorer backgrounds, and their better off peers. Too often the poorest children are left with no choice but the worst schools while the rich can send their children to private school or move house into the catchment area of a good school."

He said the Government was setting up free schools to give parents more choice, turn round failing schools and raise teaching standards.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

MBDA UK Ltd: HR Advisor - Recruitment and Graduate Programme

Competitive Salary & Benefits: MBDA UK Ltd:    What’s the opportunity? We...

MBDA UK Ltd: Software Graduate

Competitive Salary & Benefits: MBDA UK Ltd:   Role Title: Softwa...

Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Support - Surrey - £28,000

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Support Helpdesk / Devel...

Guru Careers: Graduate Database Administrator / Junior DBA

£20 - 25k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Database Administrator / Junior DBA is nee...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen