The Effects of Private Schools in Britain: a review of the evidence, and new findings

LLAKES Research Seminar

2.15 to 3.45 pm, Thursday 12 November 2015, Room 709a, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Presenters: Francis Green and Golo Henseke

Private schools have a special place in the reproduction of social and economic inequalities in British society. Unlike in many other countries, private schools have had a historical strong connection with social class, with the social gradient for private school attendance especially high. In recent years new evidence has emerged of private schools’ effects on students’ subsequent lives, both in post-school education and later in the workplace. The presentation will first discuss this evidence and situate private school effects alongside issues of social mobility and of inequality in Britain. We will then present some new findings for the effects of private schools on self-evaluations, aspirations, social networks, and on pay and non-pay aspects of job quality in later careers, using data from three sources: the 1970 British Cohort Study (last surveyed in 2012), the Skills and Employment Survey series, and the British Household Panel Study/Understanding Society.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact  to book a place.

Professor Francis Green is Professor of Work and Education Economics at the UCL Institute of Education. After graduating in Physics at Oxford, he switched to economics with an MSc at the London School of Economics, before writing his PhD thesis on the theory of saving at Birkbeck College. He began his career at the age of 22 at Kingston Polytechnic. After spells at the Universities of Massachusetts, Leicester, Leeds and Kent, he moved to the LLAKES research centre at the UCL Institute of Education in April 2010.

His general interests lie in labour economics, education and political economy. He maintains an interdisciplinary approach in both research and teaching. His research focuses on skills, training, work quality and industrial relations issues. He has published more than a hundred articles and nine books, including “Demanding Work. The Paradox of Job Quality in the Affluent Economy” (Princeton University Press, 2006). His latest study, entitled “Skills and Skilled Work. An Economic and Social Analysis”, was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. He regularly provides consultancy advice and reports for UK government departments and agencies, as well as for a range of international organisations, including the OECD, World Bank and the European Commission.

Dr Golo Henseke is an Applied Economist specialised in Labour Economics and Applied Microeconomics.  He works as a senior research officer at the LLAKES research centre at the UCL Institute of Education. He has worked on a range of research projects on skill formation and skill utilisation over the working life, as well as the effects of job-quality on workers’ well-being. His research interest cover skills developments over the life course, individual labour market outcomes and well-being.

After graduating in Economics from the University of Rostock (Germany), he completed a PhD in 2011 on labor market consequences and challenges of demographic change. The findings illuminated the diverse but interrelated issues of labour market institutions, job quality and retirement, as well as the development of talent and creative productivity. At LLAKES he works together with Professor Francis Green, on a range of research projects to explore aspects such as skill formation and skill utilisation, social inequality in job outcomes, as well as the role of job-quality on workers’ well-being.