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March 12, 2007


bishop hill

Is it a case of private education providing this payback or could it be that the parents are having a word at the chambers and getting a good position for young Quentin?


Is there any noticable difference in the variance though? It could be a gamble that the student could earn far more than the student from the state school.
A student from a state school who has attained the same grade is likely to be more of a fighter, having had to grind against the odds. The student from the state school may well have made their connections and contacts whilst younger, the ladder could be easier. Perhaps a large part of the payoff is in having an easier, less contentious rise to the top.


Bishop's persuasive parents? maybe. Extra self-confidence from public schooling? Possibly.

Maybe it's as simple as the fact that people from middle-class and wealthy backgrounds tend to be less risk-averse, because they know the family won't let them starve on the street.

Marcin Tustin

It would interesting to see how the figures look after eliminating Oxford graduates from the study, or otherwise controlling for the benefits of entry to prestige universities, which public school very much does aid entry to.


"the return to a private education relative to a lower class background is 6.8%": that sounds like a confusion of categories, but I admit that I haven't read the paper. Did they look at posh persons with State schooling and paupers with Public schooling? Assisted Places means that there should be a quite a few of the latter.


Higgins runs the HR Department. From G.B Shaw's Pygmalian (Eliza speaking):
"You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can readily pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking and so on) the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will...

chris y

I suspect the Rt. Rev. gent is correct and this is an instance of the Baptist preacher fallacy. Children of the elite go to Eton and Christ Church; children of the elite have an inherited contact network. Prediction: a graduate with an equally good degree, educated at Abbeydale Grange School and de Montfort University, who had the same set of friends as the Etonian, would show the same differential on graduation.

I would expect the gap to narrow slightly among the over 35s, as the chinless wonders' ineffectualness becomes apparent to their employers.

Matt Munro

I think there is a difficulty here with direction of effect. A private education is primarily a symptom of privelidge, rather than a cause. So the privately educated Tarquin will have the well connected daddy, the good looking ex model mummy, a brother at Goldman Sachs, an uncle on the board of Unilever etc etc. Even if he went to the local comp he would still have those privelidges, although maybe he would be less well placed to take advantage of them.
An intersting comparison would be the earnings premium for privately educated toffs versus privately educated working class kids (e.g on scholarships to Public schools). I would expect the former to still have a significant advantage given the social networks they are born into and able to expolit as adults.
This does of course work both ways. No amount of expensive education or top drawer connections can make someone intelligent, which is why so many highly educated but dim toffs end up joining the Army.....

tom s.

Foul! What about those of us who went to comprehensives, but don't have chins?

dave heasman

"Even if he went to the local comp he would still have those privelidges, although maybe he would be less well placed to take advantage of them. "

Gail Rebuck & Philip Gould's kids went to a Camden comp. The best Camden comp. They're doing all right, I think.


"Gail Rebuck & Philip Gould's kids went to a Camden comp." I'll guess that you are referring to two socialists. Long ago, when fashionable socialists sent their children to Holland Park Comprehensive, they did tend to back it up with lots of private tuition.

dave heasman

Come on, dearie, public school children aren't immune to a bit ( a *bit*?) of out-of-hours private tuition either. Especially at GCSE level, where at Channing School in Highgate the teacher will come round your house and do your coursework.
Disclaimer - my daughter went to a Haringey comp and got private tuition at GCSE level. Particularly for Spanish, where her teacher sat at the desk at the front weeping throughout every single lesson for two years.


Chris, you won't let the private school issue go, will you?

Young man

Being a chinless wonder let me play devils advocate. ;-)

Maybe privately educated students are more rounded. I did and learnt alot of things (most useless things mind you) at private school that those in state schools typically did not. EG debating, public speaking, swimming, rugby, etc.

I admire alot of my state school peers for their intelligence and hard work. But am sometimes astounded by their lack of knowledge of public speaking, history, and sport at anything other than a spectator level.

Mark Wadsworth

The Bishop probably has it spot on.

Next topic, a variation of 4.4% is reassuringly small, given that salaries are in a wide range between £notmuch and £loads.

Ergo, private education is a waste of money, I've always said so.


Back on to my (and a lot of other people's) favourite subject!

There must be a name for this syndrome, but I've noticed a number of Oxbridge graduates seem to be incapable of committing to a particular career path as maybe their phenomenal all-round talents might be better spent somewhere more interesting, whereas some graduates from "lesser" institutions know they may only get one chnace and grab it with both hands when they get it.

Rob Spear

The problem with this kind of purely financial analysis is that the main source of a person's wealth is not money, but social connections, good conversation, pleasant surroundings. We should more honestly define an individual's wealth as the amount of pleasure the arrangement of the world gives that individual, and stop worrying about the distribution of cash for its own sake

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