Poorer white pupils underperform in later academic choices – study

The Guardian is reporting that a new study claims that white British pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds do not reach the top universities. 

Students from white British backgrounds are often holding themselves back by making poor educational choices, with many shutting themselves out of better careers as a result, according to a study for the government’s social mobility watchdog.

Researchers found that as much as half of the gap in admissions to highly selective Russell Group universities between children on free school meals (FSM) and their better-off peers could be a result of factors beyond academic ability.

The analysis published by the Social Mobility Commission, headed by former Labour minister Alan Milburn, found that pupils with the same GCSE grades differed markedly in their later progress, with white British students from deprived backgrounds in particular choosing weaker academic subjects and institutions, and less likely to attend higher education than their better-off peers.

The lack of proper careers advice and the complexity of post-16 education and training made it hard for those from lower income groups to “translate their attainment at school into qualifications that are well rewarded”, Milburn said.

More at: Poorer white pupils underperform in later academic choices – study

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Categories: Research.


  1. Has anyone actually asked white British pupils eligible for FSM why they don’t ‘aspire’ to uni?  There may be valid reasons only no-one’s bothered to ask.

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