From the BBC:
The UK is "deeply elitist" according to an analysis of the backgrounds of more than 4,000 business, political, media and public sector leaders. Small elites, educated at independent schools and Oxbridge, still dominate top roles, suggests the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission study...
It found that those who had attended fee-paying schools included 71% of senior judges, 62% of senior armed forces officers, 55% of permanent secretaries (the most senior civil servants) and 53% of senior diplomats...
Figures for top people who went to Oxford and Cambridge paint a similar picture. Some 75% of senior judges, 59% of the Cabinet, 57% of permanent secretaries, 50% of diplomats, 47% of newspaper columnists, 38% of the House of Lords, 33% of the shadow cabinet and 24% of MPs hold Oxbridge degrees.
Yes, the top level of the public sector is a bunch of self-serving, self-selected, inbred, clueless twats, we knew this.
But I think that Oxford and Cambridge are between a rock and a hard place here.
Oxford says that 56.8% of its intake is from state schools; for Cambridge it's 63.3%. So they're still skewed towards private school pupils, but it's not out of all proportion.
Now, those top two universities want to get the cleverest students, with a reasonable smattering of children of supremely wealthy parents to make large donations. Fair enough. And if those top two universities have the cleverest students, whether from state school or private school, we would expect their alumni to be at the top of many professions.
So ultimately their dilemma is this: if we take the most able state school pupils in preference to some private school also-rans, then we are doing out bit for equality and social mobility. But if we do that, then even more of our alumni will get into the top jobs and we end up being slammed for being elitist again.
And quite possibly, the equality campaigners are confusing cause and effect.
It's not so much that the self-selected people get to the top because they went to Oxford or Cambridge; they probably got into Oxford or Cambridge for the same reason that they get top civil service jobs. The same applies to those who went to private school.
Thursday, 28 August 2014
From the BBC:
My latest blogpost: Damned if they do, damned if they don't.Tweet this! Posted by Mark Wadsworth at 11:38