Making The Leap Chief Executive Tunde Banjoko OBE expresses concern about the recent government ‘Widening Participation’ report


12th August 2016: CEO of Youth and social mobility charity Making The Leap says the government’s recent Widening Participation report, which revealed an increasing gap between private and state school pupils as less state school pupils go to university, is deeply concerning.


The report, published on 3 August 2016, found 62% of state school pupils progressed to Higher Education in 2013/14 – in contrast to 85% of privately educated pupils who went on to attend university. The gap has risen from 16 percentage points in 2010/2011 to 23 percentage points in 2013/14.

Making The Leap’s Chief Executive Tunde Banjoko OBE said:

“We welcome the increase in the number of pupils who are eligible for Free School Meals progressing to Higher Education, however this report shows that the gap is growing in university entry rates between those from independent schools and their state school counterparts. The already huge gap between those who enter the most selective universities has further widened to a whopping 41 percentage points, which is disappointing and deeply worrying.  It reinforces the point that in this country those whose parents can afford private education have a huge advantage over their less wealthy peers of securing a university education that will allow them to compete for the top jobs.

“More must be done to level the playing field. This isn’t about numbers it is about young lives and wasted potential. Without the investment and interventions to help close this gap, we will remain a country with low rates of social mobility.”




Notes to editors

  1. Attitude and aspirations account for a staggering 22% of the rich/poor gap at GCSE attainment. This means that changing the mindset of young people would substantially increase their chances of academic success.
  2. 93% of employers consider soft skills to be just as important if not more important than hard skills when evaluating job candidates. This means that young people who do not possess soft skills find it difficult to get on the career ladder.
  3. Since 1993, Making The Leap has specialised in soft skills training to improve social mobility. It has helped over 34,800 people and last year supported over 7,000 11-25 year olds across London, developing skills that will help them succeed in and beyond school, and helping them access career opportunities with top companies.



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