Pupils from ten private or grammar schools are the ones applying for all the most prestigious graduate schemes

They’re 100 times more likely than pupils from the bottom 10% of schools

It doesn’t matter whether or not you went to Oxbridge, it’s which school you’re from that affects whether or not you’ll apply to the top graduate schemes after uni, according to a new survey by Rare, a recruitment company which focuses on bringing diversity to the workplace.

30% of pupils from the top ten private and grammar schools in the country applied for the most prestigious schemes at banks, law firms, management consultancies and FTSE 100 companies.  At the bottom 10% of schools, only 0.3% of students applied for the same schemes, making students from the top schools 100 times more likely to apply.  The universities they went to did not seem to be a factor.


59.2% of Oxford students come from state schools, compared to around 62% at Cambridge, despite the fact that nationally only around 14% of sixth form students attend private schools.  But after university, the gap seems to only widen, as 3% of applicants for the best schemes come from the same ten schools.

According to a report in the Telegraph, pupils who disproportionately come from these few elite schools accepted into the schemes will receive starting salaries of around £45,000.  The schools include Eton College, which charges fees of £33,270 per year, and is the alma mater of 19 British Prime Ministers.  Also on the list was Westminster School, which charges its boarders £35,058 a year, and hosts its assemblies twice a week in Westminster Abbey, and North London Collegiate School, the independent girls’ day school which which frequently tops A-level results tables.  The only non-private school on the list was Queen Elizabeth’s School, a boys grammar school in north London.

Earlier this year, at the launch of her new social mobility strategy, Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, spoke of how her job application to Barings Bank was rejected as she was told she had not travelled to enough exotic countries as she had not taken a gap year, and she revealed that she was simply “too embarrassed to admit that I simply couldn’t afford one”.

The ten schools most likely to apply for the top graduate schemes:

  1. Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, Hertfordshire
  2. Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys, Hertfordshire
  3. North London Collegiate School, Harrow
  4. Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet
  5. Westminster School, Westminster
  6. Sevenoaks, Kent
  7. King’s College School, Merton
  8. Charterhouse, Surrey
  9. Eton College, Windsor and Maidenhead
  10. Hampton School, Richmond Upon Thames