New figures released by the Department for Education revealed a higher percentage of Black and Asian students are likely to join UK’s top universities compared to their white counterparts. The study shed light on concerns regarding the educational underachievement among white pupils.
The data highlighted the education destinations of students from over 2,000 state and fee-paying schools and colleges and whether students leaving school preferred to stay in education or move on into employment or training.
According to the figures, two out of three secondary schools do not send a single pupil to Oxford or Cambridge University and one in seven schools were incapable of sending a student to any of the top 24 Russell Group universities, writes Darren Evans of Tes Connect.
The study, conducted in 2012, also showed that 64% of Asian students and 62% of black students went on to higher education as opposed to just 45% of white students, writes Sally Weale of The Guardian.
Asian students showed a higher probability of pursuing education in a top flight university, backed by figures showing that 12% of Asian students go on to Russell Group universities compared to 11% of white students and 6% of black students.
Statistics also showed that students from private schools displayed a higher chance of passing on to a leading university (60% compared with 48% of their state counterparts).
Government statisticians have stated that the rates of student attempting to obtain a degree had dropped from 53 per cent to 48 per cent especially in the first year when tuition fees tripled to a yearly £9,000.
The data also showed that 60 per cent of privately educated pupils went on to university with 46 percent of them joining universities ranked in the top third.
School minister David Laws expressed his delight at the figures.
“Today’s data show many examples of schools – including those in the most deprived parts of the country – which are ensuring their pupils are moving on to meaningful destinations.The figures are hugely satisfying, with thousands more pupils going on to further education, training or employment – showing the significant progress this coalition government has made in building a fairer society.At the same time there are some schools which could be doing more to make sure all their pupils can get on in life, and today’s data will be extremely valuable in helping hold those school leaders to account.”
General Secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT Russell Hobby also stated that the data reflected how schools displayed greater efficiency in equipping a larger number of students with the education needed to take on the next stage.
“School leaders will obviously look to see if they can do more, particularly for those from less privileged backgrounds, but we need some caution when applying such experimental statistics. The figures are substantially lagged from when the relevant decisions were made and it is not yet clear how they will reflect local and national trends in the economy and opportunities for employment or training.”
Schools watchdog Ofsted previously revealed the problems that caused the underachievement of white middle class children has also been investigated through an inquiry by the cross party education committee.