In the most recent year (2020-21), average private school fees were about £13,600. That is £6,500, or over 90%, higher than total state school spending per pupil in England in the same year (£7,100). This gap has more than doubled over the last decade and compares with a gap of £3,100, or 39%, in 2009-10 (£11,100 for private school fees compared with £8,000 spending per student in state schools).
@TheIFS PODCAST: Are we transitioning to a high-wage economy? Ahead of the Prime Minister's speech this morning, @PJTheEconomist, Jonathan Cribb and Xiaowei Xu discuss job vacancies and labour shortages.
Gender differences in subject choice leads to gender pay gap immediately after graduation (@TheIFS)
October 5th is the deadline for big companies to report their gender pay gaps. In 2019 – before the pandemic disrupted data collection – the gender gap in average annual earnings for all employees stood at 37%. This gap opens up immediately after graduation, with male graduates earning 5% more than female graduates on average at age 25. Most of the initial gap can be explained by university subject choices, with women less likely to study subjects that lead to high-paying jobs. Women make up just a third of graduates in economics, the subject with the highest financial returns, and two thirds of graduates in creative arts, the subject with the lowest returns. Subject choice continues contribute to the gender pay gap over time, but its relative importance fades as other factors (like having children and working part-time) come into play. Xiaowei Xu, a Senior Research Economist at IFS and an author of the observation, says: