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Top jobs dominated by privately educated

Published: March 22, 2016

The best professions in the UK are still dominated by privately educated people, according to new findings.

Research published by the Sutton Trust revealed that despite the fact that 88 per cent of the UK population are educated in the comprehensive system, 74 per cent of judges attended private schools and 61 per cent of top doctors were educated privately. In addition, more than half (51 per cent) of notable journalists also went to top schools.

However, perhaps surprisingly, 32 per cent of MPs in the current parliament went to private educational institutions, while 34 per cent of FTSE 100 chief executives went to a private school.

Speaking about the findings, Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “Graduates from low and middle-income backgrounds are hugely under-represented at the top of the professions. This is why the Sutton Trust has set up several Pathways Programmes such as law, medicine and STEM in partnership with major employers to enable students from low and middle-income backgrounds to access leading professions.”

It was also revealed that two thirds of British Oscar winners were privately educated, suggesting that pedigree played as big a role as talent when it came to the arts.

The trust is currently leading an inquiry that looks at what is being done to get more less advantaged young people into top jobs.It will also be looking at what the biggest obstacles are when it comes to improving access.

Justin Madders MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility, said: “For too long, our most prestigious professions have not been representative of the population of this country, with many of the top jobs disproportionately populated by alumni of private schools and Oxbridge.

“Ensuring that access to professions is based upon merit rather than background is not only a moral imperative, it is an economic one too.”

Mitrefinch offers HR software that can help employers boost efficiency and gain access to up-to-date employee data.

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