Pupils who attend private schools earn 30pct more than state school peers in later life

June 11th, 2009 - 12:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 11 (ANI): A new study suggests that pupils who attend private schools earn an average of 30 per cent more than those who attend state schools in later life.

Published in the journal Significance, the study shows that when compared against like for like family background, the gap is reduced to an increase of 20 per cent in earnings.

The researchers say that most of this gap came from the achievement of higher qualifications.

The study looked at data from 10,000 British residents and compared them on earnings, schooling, qualifications, family background, age, and region lived in.

The researchers did admit that family background had an impact on earnings, but added that the main difference was in relation to the qualifications gained.

That observation, according to them, suggested that if the average person attending private school were to fail their exams, there would be no other benefits to fall back on.

“We began this research to try to understand whether private school education was sustaining, or merely reflecting, low levels of social mobility in society,” said lead author Francis Green, Professor of Economics at the University of Kent.

“Our findings suggest that rather than family background being the predominant factor, a private school education seems to offer something else to the equation. Parents with enough money, but wondering whether it is a good investment to choose private schooling, might be reassured by these findings,” Green added.

Upon comparing the effect on earnings of attending a private school prior to 1960 and after, the researchers found that the estimated impact had increased over time.

“Given this finding, it seems that today’s pupils might expect to see even greater benefits,” said Green.

Co-author Richard Murphy, from the London School of Economics, said: “This difference in earnings was especially pronounced when we looked at the top end of the salary scale. Even after adjustments for qualifications gained and family background, those in the top 10 per cent of earners who had attended independent schools earned on average 20 per cent more than state school pupils in the same salary band. Whether these benefits come through ‘old boy networks’, or through unmeasured broad competences that are obtained through private schooling, we cannot say.” (ANI)

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