Australian study shows that the success of a child is linked to father's education

No surprise to anyone who follows genetics research. It's all IQ and IQ is genetically transmitted. Government "support" will do little.

A Smith Family study has linked a father's education level to the professional success of his children. The report - titled Unequal Opportunities: Life Chances for Children in the Lucky Country - compares the lives and backgrounds of 13,000 university graduates aged 30 to 45.

It found those who had a university educated father were more likely to hold a degree themselves, have a professional job and earn around $300 more a week than those without an academic dad.

Among those people whose fathers did not go on to higher education, only 30 per cent had achieved a degree, compared to 65 per cent for those whose fathers did get a degree.

"If you think about a parent who had a limited education their understanding of career paths available to their kid would be much more limited," the charity's Wendy Field said. "For families on income support the difference is really, really stark.

"For kids it can mean that they make choices in their life that really protect their families from any additional financial stress and it can also mean that they just don't have access to a whole lot of opportunities."

The Smith Family says the report is disheartening and shows Australia has a way to go before its lucky status can be justified.

In 2008, after the Bradley Review into higher education, the Government adopted a target of increasing the number of university students from poor families to 20 per cent. The latest report shows that the current level is hovering around 15 per cent.

Last week Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced new funding measures to help achieve the 20 per cent goal. Low income families will receive an extra $10,000 a year to encourage their teenage children to stay at school or in training.

Ms Field says it is a welcome first step. "It'll be interesting to see how that translates into take-ups," she said. "And it'll also be interesting to see what supports are available to help those kids to stay at university, because it's so much more difficult for kids whose parents are not in a position to support them financially."


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