Only 23% of black and ethnic minority Bar school graduates from the UK and EU got a pupillage last year, according to figures released by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

That figure was up by 2.5% on the previous year, but showed a marked disparity with their white counterparts who were more than twice as likely to get a pupillage, with almost 50% successful.

Among the UK/EU-domiciled BPTC graduates, 50% of pupillages were awarded to women, up from 48% last year.

The statistics revealed that the overall chance of getting a pupillage is slim, with less than 43% of those who enrolled on the course from 2012/13-2015/16 having started one. That figure dropped to around 41% when including 2016/17 graduates as they have had less time in which to obtain pupillage.

The BSB figures also showed that 815 (57%) of the 1,424 students enrolled on the BPTC in 2016/17 passed and 13% achieved the highest grade, ‘outstanding’ (those figures may rise once retakes are taken into account).

The performance rates do not appear to have affected the number of students applying to take the course, which can cost up to £20,000. The BSB report showed that the number of applications for the BPTC for 2016/17 was 2,917, seven more than in 2015/16.

The BSB is looking at proposals to change the course, while the Bar Council has backed plans for the Inns of Court College of Advocacy to deliver a new two-part BPTC for about half the cost.

Ewen Macleod, BSB Director of Strategy and Policy, said: ‘We hope that this latest set of statistics will help students to gauge their chances of success within the current qualification model.’