Men who went to a private school* go on to earn 78% more at age 29 than men who come from the lowest ‘social class’ quintile.
Women who went to a private school* go on to earn 100% more at age 29 than women from the lowest ‘social class’ quintile.
By age 29, men who had been to a private school earn on average £41 000 per annum, compared to only £23 000 per annum for those from the lowest SES background.
The respective figures for women are £36 000 and £18000.
Those who attended private school even earn considerably more on average than those from the top SES quintile.
This is from the latest IFS study on the impact of Higher Education on future earnings.
The significance of these statistics
This is YET MORE evidence of how private schools seem to play a crucial role in the reproduction of class inequality. The chain seems to be:
- Go to a private school and get hot-housed
- Get into a Russel Group university
- Get a better paid job.
It also shows that we need to keep researching exactly how private schools confer advantages on children from rich backgrounds and on just exactly how material and cultural capital combine to get these kids better jobs as adults.
Limitations with these statistics
The above stats show all earners, including those who failed their GCSEs, so we’re not really comparing like with like when we compare highest and lowest SES categories, because so many people from the lowest SES category fail to get 5 A*-C grades at GCSE, which means they are much less likely to go to HE, which has a significant negative impact on their earnings at age 29.
With these stats we are going back to a cohort which sat their GCSEs over 10 years ago, so they are already dated, although in fairness, this is unavoidable with a longitudinal analysis such as this.
*Given that only 7% of UK children go to private school, and that most have to pay fees, attendance at private school strongly suggests that this is the top tenth decile of students by ‘social class’ background, so the top half of the top fifth.