Charmed life? Privately educated grads’ pay rises faster than state-school peers

© Paul Hackett
Privately educated UK graduates go on to earn more than their state school peers, a Sutton Trust and upReach study has shown.

The “articulacy and assertiveness” of private school graduates sets them apart in terms of income.

The research, which examined former students in careers such as law, financial services and education, shows graduates from less privileged backgrounds often struggle to achieve pay increases at work.

Based on the study conducted by Jake Anders from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, graduates who attended private schools took home £4,500 more three years after leaving education.

Researchers found privately educated graduates who entered a professional career were earning an average of £24,066 six months after graduation, later achieving an average of £36,035 – a 49.7 percent increase.

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However, state school graduates who started work on an average salary of £22,735 ended up with £31,586 three years later – a 38.9 percent increase.

The gap widens after three years in the workforce, with private school students earning roughly 14 percent more than state school students.

The findings also suggest a graduate’s level of achievement and the type of university they attended has a part to play.

Another “plausible explanation” is that non-academic skills such as “articulacy or assertiveness” could play an important role in accessing high-status jobs and career progression in the workplace, the report said.

Sutton Trust chairman Sir Peter Lampl told the Telegraph: “We know that graduates from less privileged backgrounds are under-represented in the top professions, but today’s research shows that they face disadvantage when it comes to pay progression too.”

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The new research shows how “vital it is that firms do more to improve social mobility through their recruitment practices.

Enabling access to a wider pool of diverse talent “will deliver real benefits for employers and employees alike,” he added.

Founder of upReach Henry Morris said the research proves Britain’s social mobility challenge “does not end on a graduate’s first day of work.”

Despite doing as well academically, the pay of graduates from more privileged backgrounds rises more quickly than their peers,” he said.

The Department for Education says it is “determined” to deliver educational excellence everywhere and ensure every child, regardless of their background, reaches their full potential.

This is why we are raising standards with a rigorous new curriculum, world class exams and a new accountability system that recognized the schools that equip every child with the skills they need to succeed,” it said in a statement.

A report from the Sutton Trust published in February showed privately educated MPs and Oxbridge graduates were more likely to prevail in the general election.