Students from comprehensive schools are likely to achieve higher-class degrees at university than independent and grammar school students with similar A-level and GCSE results, a major study commissioned by the Sutton Trust and the Government shows. This is one of the main findings from a five-year study by the National Foundation for Educational Research tracking 8,000 A-level students to investigate whether the US-based SAT could be used in university admissions in the UK.
A comprehensive school student with A-level grades BBB, for example, is likely to perform as well in their university degree as an independent or grammar school student with A-level grades ABB or AAB – i.e. one to two grades higher. Comprehensive school pupils also performed better than their similarly qualified independent and grammar school counterparts in degrees from the most academically selective universities and across all degree classes, awarded to graduates in 2009.
The final report from the