Private Schools Still Best Route to the Top Jobs, Survey Shows ; HOME

By Garner, Richard | The Independent (London, England), June 28, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Private Schools Still Best Route to the Top Jobs, Survey Shows ; HOME


Garner, Richard, The Independent (London, England)


The old school is still an invaluable asset in getting one of the top jobs, according to a report published today.

Britain's private schools may only educate 7 per cent of the country but their former pupils still have a stranglehold over more than half of the best jobs.

The findings emerge from a survey by the Sutton Trust, the education charity which campaigns to get more students from deprived backgrounds into the leading universities. It looked at the leading 100 people in five professions - judges, politicians, journalists, medics and chief executives, taking its information from Who's Who. The results show that 53 per cent of them were educated at private schools while only 17 per cent came from comprehensives, which educate about 90 per cent of the country.

But there are signs that - apart from journalism, where the influence of the private sector is growing - their numbers have fallen slightly when compared with 20 years ago.

In addition, the stranglehold of Oxford and Cambridge graduates on top jobs is diminishing - from 61 per cent 20 years ago to 47 per cent now. Dr Lee Elliot Major, director of research at the Sutton Trust, said: "This analysis shows that the school you attend at 11 has a huge impact on your life chances, and particularly how likely you are to reach the top of your chosen profession.

"We are still to a large extent a society divided by wealth, with future elites groomed at particular schools and universities - while the educational opportunities available to those from non- privileged backgrounds make it much more difficult for them to reach the top."

A breakdown of the figures shows that judges are most likely to have gone to a private school (70 per cent), while 28 per cent went to grammar schools.

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Private Schools Still Best Route to the Top Jobs, Survey Shows ; HOME
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