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Independent School Premium of £194,000 Revealed in New Report

Thursday, 03 July 2014

Children who attend private school will earn £193,700 more on average in their early careers than their state educated peers, according to a new independent report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank which analyses the Sutton Trust's Open Access programme.

Open Access: an independent evaluation, assesses how most effectively to widen access to high performing independent schools on a needs-blind basis. It calculates for the first time the ‘wage premium’ experienced by those attending independent schools. The analysis uses newly available data to estimate that, between the ages of 26 and 42, someone who attends an independent school will earn a total of £193,700 more than someone who attends a state school. Even when factors such as family background and early educational achievement are accounted for, the wage premium persists at £57,653.

Although a range of factors play a part in determining this premium, the analysis reveals that the better educational achievement of those attending independent schools is a major contributor. The report finds students from independent schools are more likely to get good A-levels, more likely to get degrees and to attend the most selective universities. It finds that on the best available evidence – value-added scores – independent schools (on average) progress their children more during their school years than state schools.

Emran Mian, Director of the Social Market Foundation said: “Our research shows that pupils from independent schools do dramatically better than those who go to state school – earning an average of £194,000 more between the ages of 26 and 42. These huge differences arise in part because these children come from privileged backgrounds anyway. But that’s not the whole story. Take two people of the same ability at age 11 and with the same parental background, track them forward, and the pupil who attends independent school is likely to earn substantially more.  A significant driver appears to be simply that independent schools typically progress the education of pupils more during their school years than state schools.”

Bolton School prides itself on striving to allow pupils to be admitted on merit rather than the ability to pay. Those pupils that perform outstandingly well in the Entrance Examination but are from a disadvantaged background are given assistance with fee payment. Currently one in five Senior School pupils receive bursaries and 100 pupils receive full fee bursaries.  Household income for one in seven of our Senior School families is less than the average national wage for a family.  The ethnic mix of the School identically mirrors that of the local region.

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