Research Explainers

In this series, professor Francis Green at the UCL Institute of Education explains the academic research in bite-size form.

‘Away from Home, Better at School. The Case of a British Boarding School’

This paper shows high ability disadvantaged pupils can benefit from boarding school

Moral character, legitimacy and social justice in Irish elite schools

This qualitative study looks at how Irish private schools maintain social exclusivity

Subsidizing private schools for the Northern English middle classes

This study looks at former private schools which converted to join the state sector

Girls’ schooling in Scotland

Researchers look at how private schools in Scotland have adapted to a changing context

The Assisted Places Scheme

Did the Thatcher and Major governments’ scheme to send poor pupils to private schools work?

Income, housing wealth, and private school access in Britain

Researchers look at whether bursaries improve the social composition of private schools

Who Gets the Top Jobs?

Researchers look into whether ‘connections’ can explain access to different jobs

Do private school girls marry rich?

This paper tests the hypothesis that private school women are more likely to marry private school men

Education and psychological distress in adolescence and mid-life

This is a rare study on how type of school - private or state - affected wellbeing

Does private education make nicer people?

This study compares the socio-emotional development of private and state school children

The influence of private primary schooling on children’s learning

Researchers look at whether private ‘prep’ schools give pupils an advantage ahead of secondary school.

Aspiration and the Private School Earnings Premium

Researchers look at whether private school pupils gain greater self-esteem and a ‘locus of control’ for later careers.

The impact of staff resources on A-levels across private schools

Does a higher teacher:pupil ratio allow wealthier private schools to drive better A-level results? These researchers found out.

Do Private Schools Manage Better?

In this paper, academics looked closely at whether private schools appear to manage their finances and operations more efficiently than the state sector.

The impact of predicted grades on university admissions of disadvantaged groups

Researchers reveal that pupils at private schools are more likely to have their grades overpredicted than those at state comprehensives.

Graduate earnings for former private and state school pupils by socio-economic background

Researchers find there is still a “private school premium” in terms of salary when pupils of similar backgrounds graduate.

Private Schooling, Subject Choice, Upper Secondary Attainment and Progression to University

This study looks at the academic attainment of pupils who attended private school sixth forms in the 2000s.

Private Schooling and Labour Market Outcomes

This study followed cohorts of children to find out their salary earnings later in life.

The impact of private, grammar and faith schools in the 1980s

This paper looks at whether the type of school pupils went to in the 80s made a difference to the qualifications they attained.

How fair is access to more prestigious UK universities?

Academics examined the very different rates of entry for state and private school pupils to top universities.

Private Schools and the Provision of “Public Benefit”

Researchers look at the objectives of private school headteachers regarding their charitable obligations.

The Decline and Persistence of the Old Boy

Academics examine the proportion of Who’s Who entrants that are privately educated.