25th February 2016

The proportion of people in leading jobs who were educated independently has been set out in a report by the Sutton Trust.

The report, Leading People 2016, says that the UK’s top professions remain disproportionately populated by alumni of independent schools.

Nearly three quarters (71%) of the top officers in the armed services attended independent schools, while only 12% went to comprehensive schools (two star generals and above). This proportion is slightly less than the country’s top judges – High Court and Appeals Court – of whom nearly three-quarters (74%) attended independent schools.

State school students are slightly better represented in medicine: of a sample of the country’s top doctors, 61% were educated at independent schools, nearly one quarter at grammar schools (22%) and the remainder (16%) at comprehensives.

In journalism, over half (51%) of leading print journalists were educated privately and less than one in five went to comprehensives which educate 88% of the population today.

In business the picture was more complicated because a high proportion of FTSE 100 chief executives attended schools overseas. Among those who were UK educated, about a third (34%) went to private schools.

Nearly a third (32%) of MPs was privately educated. Half of the cabinet was privately educated, compared with 13% of the shadow cabinet.


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