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Private schooling, subject choice, upper secondary attainment and progression to university

Henderson, M; Anders, J; Green, F; Henseke, G; (2019) Private schooling, subject choice, upper secondary attainment and progression to university. Oxford Review of Education 10.1080/03054985.2019.1669551. Green open access

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Abstract

With approximately three times the resources per pupil in private compared with state schools, Britain’s private sector presents an interesting case of what could be expected from schools that are extremely well resourced. This paper studies the links between private schooling and educational performance in upper secondary school, as measured through their performance in ‘A level’, the main school-leaving assessment which determines access to universities. Using an English longitudinal study, we find evidence that, compared with otherwise observably similar state school students in upper secondary education and controlling for prior attainment, those at private school study more ‘facilitating’ subjects, which are known to be favoured by high-status universities; they are placed 8 percentage points higher in the A level rankings and 11 percentage points higher in the rankings for ‘facilitating’ A levels. We find evidence of a private school advantage for participating in undergraduate study, net of socioeconomic status, subjects selected and number of A levels but there is no private school advantage for attending an elite university, controlling for the same characteristics. Taken together with other studies, our findings mean that private schooling in England is associated with cumulative moderate advantages at every stage of education.

Type: Article
Title: Private schooling, subject choice, upper secondary attainment and progression to university
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2019.1669551
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2019.1669551
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: private education, independent school, educational attainment, A level, value-added
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership > Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081809
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