State school children believe privately educated pupils are more successful

Lauren NasirogluAssociate Director
February 02, 2016, 10:43 AM GMT+0

New research from YouGov, commissioned by Future First reveals that children currently studying at state school are far more pessimistic about their future job prospects than their privately educated counterparts.

YouGov’s Children’s Omnibus survey among students aged 11-16 year olds discovered that 12% of comprehensive students believe that people who attend their school will be unsuccessful in the world of work. This compares to just 1% of private school attendees that hold the same opinion.

Half (50%) of private school students believe people that attend their school will ‘very successful’ in the world of work compared to 9% of state school pupils.

There is an argument that more needs to be done to encourage successful state school alumni to revisit their former schools in an effort to broaden the horizons of current children. Just 17% of state school students said they regularly meet adults in jobs they perceive as interesting, compared to over half (51%) of privately educated students.


The YouGov / Future First study also looked into the opinions of adults i.e. former attendees, and focussed upon the importance of alumni relations with the school. 18% said that they would have taken a different career path if their school or college had brought in former students in interesting jobs to speak about their careers. The same number disagreed.

Among all adults who attended secondary school in Great Britain, former private school students were almost four times more likely to have heard from former students about their jobs while at school than state students (42 per cent v 12 per cent).

Go to YouGov Children's Omnibus