The effect of private schools on Team GB's Olympics success - in two charts

Aimee Meade
Tuesday 23 August 2016 11:30
sport

Team GB's Olympic medal winners are four times more likely to have been privately educated than the UK population as a whole, according to the Sutton Trust.

The charity's research found that nearly a third (32 per cent) of Britain's 130 medalists attended fee-paying schools, compared to only seven per cent of the UK.

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Sixty per cent of the Rio medalists - including cyclist Laura Trott, gymnast Max Whitlock and boxer Nicola Adams - were educated at comprehensive schools and 8 per cent at grammar schools.

In some sports this was even higher - 92 per cent of the medal-winning cyclists were educated at either a comprehensive or state school. Yet, more than half (52 per cent) of Team GB's medal winning rowers attended fee-paying schools and 50 per cent of the winning women's hockey team. In fact, according to the Sutton Trust, an athlete educated at the independent boarding school Eton College has won a medal at every Olympic Games since 1992 in either rowing or an equestrian sport.

Team GB Women's Hockey Team win Gold.

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:

The success of Team GB in Rio has been a national triumph. It’s been fantastic to see a growing number of our national heroes coming from comprehensive and other state schools.

But alumni of private schools are still over-represented among our medalists. Although some state schools have improved support for competitive sport over the last decade, they’re still more likely to benefit from ample time set aside for sport, excellent sporting facilities and highly qualified coaches.

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While the proportion of privately educated medal-winners has dropped by 4 per cent since the London Olympics in 2012, it has increased in the wider British team. 28 per cent of the olympic team came from private schools, compared to 20 per cent four years ago.

More: The numbers that show how private school pupils still dominate our society

More: How private schools make the children of the wealthy wealthier

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