Graduates who went to private schools earn substantially more than those who went to state schools. Part of that difference is explained by the fact that, on average, they attend more prestigious universities and study subjects which tend to be more highly rewarded. But new research shows that even amongst graduates who went to the same university to study the same subject and who left with the same degree class, those who went to private schools still earn 7% more, on average, three and a half years after graduation than their state-educated contemporaries.

This difference does not arise because graduates who attended private schools are more likely to enter higher paid professions: even once we compare graduates in the same occupations, those who went to a private school still earn 6% more, on average, than those who went to a state school. These are the main findings of new research published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.