Research has shown the important links between a school’s academic standards and the chances awarded to disadvantaged students.

A new report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research has found pupils from poorer backgrounds, who are weak students and attend a school of low academic quality, have just a 30 per cent chance of completing Year 12, and a 10 per cent chance of studying at university. However, being enrolled in a school of high academic standards pushes it up to an 80 per cent chance of finishing, and a 50 per cent chance of attending university.

The report found students from affluent backgrounds could be insulated by their privilege and prevented from dropping out by their family background.

The report was comprised of data from a study of over 6000 15-year-olds in 356 schools over the past 10 years.

“The quality of the school matters and students from a low socio-economic background benefit even more from attending a school of high academic quality,” the report claims, “for students suffering from a 'double dose' of disadvantage, academic school quality may indeed have a critical impact on their completing school... in contrast, coming from an advantaged background can insulate students from early school leaving.”

Access to the full report is available from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research