EIGHT UK schools send more students to Oxbridge than three-quarters of all schools and colleges put together, new figures show.

Analysis by social mobility charity The Sutton Trust showed the unnamed eight schools sent 1,310 pupils to Oxford and Cambridge universities between 2015 and 2017, while 2,894 other institutions sent just 1,220 students combined.

The report, entitled Access to Advantage, also found 42 per cent of Oxbridge places go to independent school students, even though just seven per cent of the population attend a private school.

The Sutton Trust said high levels of additional, specialist support at independent schools could explain the disparity and called for action to correct the 'patchwork of higher education guidance and support'.

Founder Sir Peter Lampl said: "All young people, regardless of what area they grow up in, or what school they go to, should have access to high-quality personal guidance that allows them to make the best informed choices about their future.

"The admissions process also needs to change. We have made the case for giving poorer students a break through contextual admissions, but we also need universities to make it clear what grades these students need to access courses."

Access to Advantage also found independent school pupils are seven times more likely to gain a place at Oxford or Cambridge compared to those in non-selective state schools, and more than twice as likely to take a place at Russell Group institutions.

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

The report also discovered 21 per cent of higher education applications from independent schools are for Oxford or Cambridge, compared to just five per cent at comprehensive schools and four per cent at sixth form colleges.

Meanwhile, almost 23 per cent of students in independent schools in the top fifth of schools for exam results applied to Oxbridge, compared to only 11 per cent of students in comprehensives in the same high-achieving group of schools.

The study also found around six per cent of applicants from the South East, South West, London and east of England went to Oxbridge, while only three to four per cent of those from the North or the Midlands got in.

Several parts of the country had two or fewer acceptances to Oxbridge from state non-selective schools across the three years.

The Russell Group said it was working hard to improve social mobility.

Chief executive Dr Tim Bradshaw said: "Russell Group universities believe strongly in the transformative power of higher education.

"We want to recruit students with potential and drive, regardless of background.

"There has been progress in recent years but today's research underlines that this remains a big challenge.

"The root causes of under-representation are complex and solving them is a shared social mission, bringing together universities, schools, families and the Government."