Wasted Talent? Attrition rates for high-achieving pupils between school and university

Report Overview

Report from the Institute of Education and the Institute for Fiscal Studies showing that there are 60,000 students each year who at some point are among the top-performers in their year group, but who do not go on to enter university.

 

Key Findings

  • 60,000 pupils — who at age 11, 14 or 16 are among the top fifth of academic performers in English state schools – do not subsequently enter higher education by age 18.
  • Pupils on free school meals are 19 percentage points less likely than other school pupils to enter higher education by age 19, when school qualifications are not taken into account.
  • However, pupils on free school meals are virtually just as likely as other school pupils to enter higher education by age 18 if they attain A-levels.
  • Looking only at young people who do go on to university, those on free school meals are 6 percentage points less likely than other school pupils to enter leading research universities by age 19, when school qualifications are not taken into account.
  • When these qualifications are considered, pupils on free school meals are only slightly less likely than other school pupils to enter leading research universities by age 18.

June 1, 2008