Data shows university place divide

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: The chances of going to a top university vary considerably depending on where students live, research shows The chances of going to a top university vary considerably depending on where students live, research shows

More than one in eight state schools and colleges are failing to send any students to the UK's top universities, according to latest figures.

And nearly two thirds saw none of their pupils win a place at Oxford or Cambridge.

The new statistics, published by the Department for Education (DfE), reveal that a teenager's chances of attending a leading Russell Group university - seen by many as among the best institutions in the UK - depend heavily on where they live.

Teenagers in Reading are over 30 times more likely to go to a Russell Group university than those who studied in Portsmouth, the data suggests.

It also shows a stark divide in a student's chances of a top university place based on the type of school they attend, with those educated at grammar schools more likely to win a place than their peers.

The experimental data shows what young people went on to do after leaving school or college in the summer of 2011. It includes how many A-level students at each school and college in England went on to higher education in general, as well as the numbers that went to Oxford and Cambridge, and those that went to Russell Group universities.

Overall, more than half (53%) were recorded as being at university in the six months after they left school or college, up from 48% in 2010.

About 11% of state-educated teenagers went to a Russell Group institution in 2011, while 1% went to Oxbridge.

A government analysis of the data shows that 287 state schools and colleges (about 13%) 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%) sent no pupils to Oxford or Cambridge in 2011, down from 1,394 in 2010.

Between them, these two universities have around 6,700 places for undergraduates each year.

A breakdown shows differences in pupils' chances of a top university place across the country.

In Reading, 38% of state school pupils went to a Russell Group university (including Oxbridge), along with 26% in Sutton and 25% in Buckinghamshire.

At the other end of the scale, just 1% of Portsmouth's school and college leavers won a place at one of these top universities, along with 2% in Knowsley, Merseyside.

Reading saw 7% of its pupils win a place at either Oxford or Cambridge, while in Portsmouth, Knowsley, Rochdale, Halton and Rutland none went to these universities.

The figures also suggest that selective, or grammar, schools are more likely to send pupils to top universities than other state schools.

All of the top 10 schools and colleges sending pupils to Russell Group universities were selective, the data shows, along with the top 10 schools sending pupils to Oxbridge.

The top state schools in England for sending pupils to university overall were Aylward Academy - a sponsored academy - in Enfield, north London, and Reading School - which is selective - in Reading. Both saw 95% of their students go on to study for a degree in 2011.

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."

Comments (2)

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6:14pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Give us the more important information...

How well educated are the parents of the children who are failing to attend best universities?
Give us the more important information... How well educated are the parents of the children who are failing to attend best universities? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

6:21pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Quite reasonable that 2/3rds of schools do not send any pupils to Oxbridge. Oxbridge is supposed to elite - the majority of state schools are not. It is also, I would suggest, quite reasonable that the top 1/3rd of schools do not send any pupils to the bottom 'universities'.
Quite reasonable that 2/3rds of schools do not send any pupils to Oxbridge. Oxbridge is supposed to elite - the majority of state schools are not. It is also, I would suggest, quite reasonable that the top 1/3rd of schools do not send any pupils to the bottom 'universities'. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0
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