Poor pupils in London more likely to go to university than better off pupils elsewhere

More statistics are today showing that the outcomes for disadvantaged pupils living in London are far more promising than for those living outside of the capital. In fact, new data from the Department of Education shows that pupils on Free School Meals in London are more likely to go onto university than better off pupils outside of London.

63% of poor pupils in London progressed into higher education in 2011 – a higher number than for any region’s non-FSM pupils and well above the 53% average for England.

These figures shine a spotlight on the potential of pupils from poorer backgrounds – a lesser economic status needn’t mean lesser achievement at school and beyond.

Stats for better off pupils going into higher education:

  • North east – 54%
  • North west – 57%
  • East midlands – 51%
  • East of England – 51%
  • South east – 49%
  • South west – 47%

In all of these areas, the figures for FSM pupils are even lower.

If you look even more closely at the figures, there are even more extreme variations. For example, in Camden (north London), 74% of FSM pupils continue to university whereas in Swindon only 34% of non-FSM and 19% of FSM pupils enter higher education.

The success of London schools has now become a subject of research. The Institute for Fiscal Studies report last week showed the London effect was driven by particular success of disadvantaged groups.

Teach First executive Brett Wigdortz said: “The success of London’s schools proves that deprivation needn’t determine destiny.”

Helen Robinson