ITV is reporting that eight of the UK’s top schools get as many students into Oxford and Cambridge universities as three-quarters of all schools and colleges put together, a study has found.
Analysis by social mobility charity The Sutton Trust showed that eight schools sent 1,310 pupils to Oxbridge over three years, while over the same period, 2,894 other schools sent just 1,220 students between them.
The report also found that 42% of places at Oxford and Cambridge go to independent school students, even though just 7% of the general population attend a private school.
Other key findings in the Access to Advantage report included:
- Independent school pupils are seven times more likely to gain a place at Oxford or Cambridge compared to those in non-selective state schools, and over twice as likely to take a place at Russell Group institutions.
- 21% of higher education applications from independent schools are for Oxford or Cambridge, compared to 5% at comprehensive schools and 4% at sixth form colleges.
Meanwhile, the study, using data from between 2015 and 2017, also highlighted disparity among higher education applicants from different parts of England, with around 6% from the South East, South West, London and east of England going to Oxbridge, compared with only 3-4% of those from the North or the Midlands.
The Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities including Oxford and Cambridge, said it was working hard to improve social mobility.
Chief executive Dr Tim Bradshaw said: “Russell Group universities believe strongly in the transformative power of higher education. We want to recruit students with potential and drive, regardless of background.”
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