MORE boys should feel they can go on to study at university.
This is the view of Rochdale youth MP Usman Nawaz, following a report which revealed boys are turning their backs on higher education.
A survey by the Sutton Trust, which provides educational programmes for bright pupils with less privileged backgrounds, showed that boys believe that it is who you know and not what you know that is more likely to bring success.
The survey of 2,400 youngsters aged 11 to 16 also found that 76 per cent of girls were more likely to go on to higher education, compared to only 67 per cent of boys.
In 2005/2006 there were 1,565 first-year female further education students from Rochdale and 1,025 males.
Seventeen-year-old Usman, who is studying for A levels at Bury College, aims to read law and become a barrister.
The former Springhill High School student said: "If such a large proportion of young people feels that university isn’t for them then that is a problem that needs to be addressed.
"There is vocational education and training but there is always a need for academics."
Rochdale education boss Terry Piggott recently said that more work needs to be done in schools to show boys that it is ‘cool’ to read and write.
This followed the release of this year’s key stage two and key stage three results for 11 and 14-year-olds in maths, English and science, in which the girls outshone the boys.
Head of Rochdale Council’s schools service Sue Brown said: "We are always looking for new ways to raise the attainment of both boys and girls in our schools.
"We have already seen a significant increase in the number of young people achieving good grades at GCSE, but there’s still a long way to go and we are not complacent."
Cabinet member for education, Councillor Irene Davidson, said: "Young people need to realise the better educated you are, the more options you will have – and the more doors will open for you."
Council leader Alan Taylor said: "Success is not about where you come from – it’s about where you choose to go and what you choose to do with your life. We all have our part to play – the youngsters themselves, their parents, their teachers and the council."