Teachers' Oxbridge misconceptions 'stop state pupils applying'

11th January 2008 at 00:00
Secondary school teachers in England and Wales seriously underestimate the proportion of state school students at Oxford and Cambridge universities, an Ipsos Mori survey of nearly 500 teachers has found. Only 8 per cent of respondents to the poll, published by Sutton Trust, picked the correct percentage bracket of between 51 and 60 per cent of Oxbridge students coming from the state sector: the exact figure is 54 per cent.

The majority of those surveyed thought that 30 per cent or fewer state school pupils attended the universities. And 56 per cent of respondents believed it was more expensive to study at Oxbridge.

In fact, they charge the same tuition fees as the vast majority of other English universities and also offer some of the most generous bursaries.

Just over half (54 per cent) said they would generally recommend their brightest students to apply to Oxbridge, while 45 per cent said they would never or rarely do so.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: "The misconceptions among secondary school teachers about Oxbridge are alarming and clearly have an impact on the number of bright state school students applying to these two great universities, despite the considerable efforts that both are making to reach out to them."

The Sutton Trust sponsors summer schools and other access initiatives at both universities for state school students and teachers.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now