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Mind the gap

Image: Alvaro Millàn [CC BY-ND 2.0] via Flickr

Disadvantaged youngsters shun higher education.

Youngsters on free school meals who attain the same GCSE grades as their wealthier neighbours are half as likely to go to university, according to research from the Social Mobility Commission published on 5 December.

Its report links three sources of data: the national pupil database; individual learner records; and figures from the Higher Education Statistics Authority. It finds that just one in seven young people from “just about managing” families goes to university. Around a quarter of the progression gap between rich and poor is attributable wholly to social background. This may due to a lack of knowledge and networks to help make education and career choices, it suggests.

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