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  1. #1
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    BBC News 'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

    The UK is "deeply elitist" according to new analysis of the backgrounds of more than 4,000 business, political, media and public sector leaders.


    Most senior judges in England and Wales went to private schools and Oxbridge

    Small elites, educated at independent schools and Oxbridge, still dominate top roles, suggests the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission study.

    It says key institutions do not represent the public they serve.

    Commission chairman Alan Milburn said they had to open their doors to a broader range of talent.

    "Locking out a diversity of talents and experiences makes Britain's leading institutions less informed, less representative and ultimately less credible than they should be," warned Mr Milburn in his foreword to the report.

    'Stark' elitism

    "This risks narrowing the conduct of public life to a small few who are very familiar with each other but far less familiar with the day-to-day challenges facing ordinary people in the country.

    "That is not a recipe for a healthy democratic society."

    The commission says its findings are based on one of the most detailed analyses of its type ever undertaken.

    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)
    • 53% of senior diplomats.


    Also privately educated were 45% of chairmen and women of public bodies, 44% of the Sunday Times Rich List, 43% of newspaper columnists and 26% of BBC executives.

    In sport, 35% of the England, Scotland and Wales rugby teams and 33% of the England cricket team also went to private schools.


    David Cameron meeting officer cadets at Sandhurst - some 62% of senior armed forces staff were privately educated

    In politics, half the House of Lords attended independent schools, along with 36% of the cabinet, 33% of MPs and 22% of the shadow cabinet.

    This compares with 7% of the UK population as a whole.

    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.

    In contrast, less than 1% of the whole population are Oxbridge graduates while 62% did not attend university, says the study.

    The report describes the figures as "elitism so stark that it could be called social engineering".

    The authors recognise that many talented people attend independent schools and top universities, with 32% of those with AAA or better in last year's A-level results attending private schools.

    National effort

    However, they ask whether top jobs are about what you know or who you know and whether some talent is being locked out.

    The report calls for a national effort to "break open" Britain's elite, with:


    • employers publishing data on the social background of staff
    • university-blind job applications and non-graduate entry routes
    • the government tackling unpaid internships that disadvantage those too poor to work for nothing
    • senior public sector jobs being opened up to a wider range of people.


    The Sutton Trust, which campaigns for greater social mobility through education, welcomed the recommendations.

    "It is clear more needs to be done at government level to address the issue," said policy director Lee Elliot Major.

    Prof Steve West, chairman of the University Alliance group of business and technology-focused universities, urged a "major rethink of what success looks like in the 21st Century".

    "There is a massive breadth of routes to success and huge diversity of opportunity in the global, technology-rich graduate employment market."

    A spokeswoman for Oxford University said the institution devoted "a huge amount of resource to widening access and student support" but added that diversifying intake would require wider action.

    "Social mobility is an issue stretching back to birth and beyond and early inequality of attainment is one of the major barriers to progression."

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    Thanks to Bald Bouncer

    DavidF (28th August 2014) 


  2. #2
    VIP Member CzarJunkie's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

    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.
    I wonder how many of them are also linked to the intelligence services? Either directly or by their old boys network?

    4 Thanks given to CzarJunkie

    4me2 (28th August 2014), Bald Bouncer (28th August 2014), DavidF (28th August 2014), WotTheFook (28th August 2014) 


  3. #3
    DF Jedi DavidF's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

    This article should begin with stating in bold 1st that only 7% of the population attend fee paying schools. That puts the above figures into perspective. Jobs for the boys and nods and winks to the right people from the right people. Does this show that you are more intelligent if you went to a fee paying school ? Well I will leave that to you lot as I see the decisions that these people take/have taken while in power.

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  4. #4
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

    ^^

    Ha Ha.

    They definitely aren't more intelligent. A friend of mine left school at 16 and worked in Eton College. He helped serve the food. We therefore encountered a lot of Eton Boys and my friend socialised with a few of them. Intelligence is not the word. Programmed, may be more apt.

  5. #5
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

    I will start by saying that I do kind of agree with what the article is saying.

    However I went to a private school and I can tell you for a fact there I have never been offered any jobs at the organisations mentioned. I had a few friends who were quite a lot more well off than we were and they have never experienced any such privileges.

    However there have been numerous famous people from my school including people I knew in my year, year below, year above, etc.

    To be honest I do suspect the general idea of a network gaining advantage for each other to be right, I strongly suspect it is more a matter of connected rich families who can afford to send their children to expensive schools rather than the schools creating these networks*.

    I cannot say if things like this happen at Universities as I went to a crappy one and barely attended that, but the schools bit I am sure about.

    * I may make an exception for Eton. Something strange about that school. I went to loads of entrance exams and passed all except Eton and St Pauls. I knew I had messed up a few questions for St. Pauls so that was expected. I knew I had failed Eton - when we had a break and I spoke to the other lads I knew I had done better than the majority. However the interview with the Headmaster didn't go well. He wasn't impressed with a bright young lad with all key skills well beyond his age, I had even taught myself bits of programming, electronics, all sorts. He really wanted to know about what kind of books I read which didn't work too well because I didn't really read books for fun. Went to meet my parents who said they wouldn't send me even if I passed - they thought the bedrooms were more like prison cells.

    I will end by saying I do agree this country is being run by a group of people totally detatched from the people they supposedly represent. These people are helping themselves at the expense of everyone else, but private schooling is merely a symptom, not the cause. Why not look for who these people actually are, what is the real link, and if anything can be done about that?

    2 Thanks given to Over Carl

    4me2 (28th August 2014), WotTheFook (28th August 2014) 


  6. #6
    DF Jedi DavidF's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

    Oh I don't think it's "really" the schools that make the final connection. But I do think that if you want a place at say London's top law firm then I DO think one of the many things that they look at when selecting their intake for that year. There are lots of things that "help". Can you do an internship for "free" for a year ? Can you socialise with the correct people when you get that internship ? Can you cope with constant 80 hour weeks on top of the socialising ?
    All of these things together cost cash and lots of it. I am mainly talking about law here as I actually know someone very well who done all of the above. Very nice man as it goes. Super clever too so it wasn't just the cash....now lives in the Cayman islands and has interests all over the globe. He si not the stereotypical lad that does all this though - He really is super clever and street smart too.
    But even he said there are doors that are firmly closed for people because of their lack of contacts that are made at school through parents and parents of other kids from same school.
    I think the figures the Jones quotes do really speak for themselves - Remember the jobs he is talking about - The jobs of people who basically run the country weather that is MP's to top barristers and most judges. Then you have the media in ALL it's forms - they control the popular debate. They direct the masses how to think, who to blame ect ect ect. All led by people connected through the "old boys network" and the link is generally these schools.
    I don't think they should be abolished but I do think more should get a crack at going and also these jobs should be opened up to the masses.

    3 Thanks given to DavidF

    4me2 (28th August 2014), Over Carl (28th August 2014), WotTheFook (28th August 2014) 


  7. #7
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

    I hear what you are saying but sorry I really think looking at private schools is chasing up the wrong tree.

    I know I wasn't from the richest of families, but I knew many kids who were from rich families. If their parents were mixing with loads of other rich parents who could open up loads of doors, I'm sure they would have tried to take advantage. There was only one kid who really stuck out as a toff. I remember another kid whose dad bought himself a Phd and a place at uni for his son, he was totally down to earth but his old man was to much of a jetsetter to be mingling with parents of his boys. This is why I find it very hard to believe that just by sending a child to a certain school introduces them or their parents to a network of people that will open up doors.

    I'm pretty sure that network existed before the children even went to secondary school.

    I'm not going to say that this hypothetical network would never recruit new members, possibly other parents from the schools their children attend, but I honestly think chasing after private schools is completely barking up the wrong tree. It's so far from the point that I wouldn't even be surprised if the whole idea is an intentional decoy.
    Last edited by Over Carl; 28th August 2014 at 08:59 PM.

    Thanks to Over Carl

    DavidF (28th August 2014) 


  8. #8
    DF Jedi DavidF's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

    OC I actually can't really answer your very good points. Suffice to say I think if a very rich family sent their child to the local comp I would think that child is less likely statistically to get a "Top Job" than if a child of equal ability went to a fee paying school. I also think some of the fee paying schools are far more recognised and well connected than others. Im not even talking about toffs either just like for like person with equal exam results leaving education at the same time. I think the kid that went to private school is more likely to find themselves in a higher job by say their mid 30's. This is the combination of the school/uni they went to the networking done by them and/or their parents.
    Also like you said Eton is a different ball game altogether. Seems to either spill out some odd people...who may or may not be pretty clever.

    Thanks to DavidF

    Over Carl (28th August 2014) 


  9. #9
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'Deeply elitist UK locks out diversity at top'

    You have hit one point I have completely failed to mention - I cannot deny that prospective employers who have recognised the name of my Secondary School have been impressed by that.

    This I think brings up a separate side of the debate - for that I think we would need to leave the discussion of the "old boys network", then discuss whether for instance if you had two identical candidates barring schooling - is it irrational for an employer to show preference for a candidate that had to prove himself ahead of the majority of his peers merely to enter the school, then had much more resources given to his education?

    I could argue it is rational as the candidate from more prestigious educational establishments likely has a broader education, while I could also argue the candidate from the lesser background is better for achieving the same with less resources thrown at them.

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