A very happy birthday... if you’re privately educated

 

An Eton and Oxbridge education is still a must for high-fliers in a whole host of professions ranging from acting to the judiciary and the diplomatic service, according to research to be published later today.

Figures show a third of top people whose birthdays are recorded by national newspapers were Oxbridge educated (31 per cent)  while four per cent (330 in a year) had been to Eton.

The research, published by the education charity the Sutton Trust, also shows that - of the schools with the most mentions - the entire top 50 were all independent.  The best ranking state school was Watford Grammar School in Hertfordshire - now comprehensive but selective at the time most of the birthday boys and girls were attending it - with 17 mentions.

The top two authentic comprehensives, i.e that had been always been non-selective state schools, were the two often dubbed “the socialist Etons”, Holland Park which educated all the children of Tony Benn, and Haverstock, the Milibands’ (Ed and David) school.

“This analysis shows how dominant leading universities and schools remain across the professions in Britain,” said Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust - which campaigns for more access to top schools and universities for young people from disadvantaged communities.

“That’s it is so important that access to our leading schools and universities is on the basis of ability alone.”

The Trust, which celebrates its 15th anniversary today, is campaigning for government support for “open access” independent schools - where admission would be entirely on ability with the state subsidising the fees of those whose parents cannot afford.  Already 90 private day schools - including Manchester Grammar and King Edward’s Boys’ in Birmingham - have backed the campaign.

The professions most dominated at the top by independent school alumni were ‘public service’ - which includes royalty, lord lieutenants and top civil servants - at 68 per cent, followed by law at 63 per cent and the armed services at 60 per cent. The least dominated was the police force with just 13 per cent.

Overall, 44 per cent on those on the birthday lists - taken from the Independent, Independent on Sunday, Times and Sunday Times - came from private schools, 27 per cent from state grammar schools and only 10 per cent from comprehensive.  Just one per cent came from secondary modern schools and the only actor to have come through from this route was Colin Firth, who attended Montgomery of Alamein school in Winchester, Hampshire.

Actors from Eton included Dominic West and Hugh Laurie while Sir Kenneth Branagh and Daniel Craig were amongst those to have come from comprehensive schools.

There were no former secondary modern students amongst those in broadcasting - although the BBC’s Robert Peston and Strictly Come Dancing’s Tess Daly came from comprehensive schools.

“Studies like this ... show how far we still need to go to improve social mobility in this country and ensure that every young person can achieve his or her potential, regardless of their family background,” added Sir Peter.

Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
Review: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Sport
Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez celebrate during Liverpool's game with Norwich
football Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Sport
Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on during his side's defeat to Everton
footballBaines and Mirallas score against United as Everton keep alive hopes of a top-four finish
Sport
Tour de France 2014Sir Rodney Walker on organising the UK stages of this year’s race
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Brown Findlay as Mary Yellan in ‘Jamaica Inn’
TVJessica Brown Findlay on playing the spirited heroine of Jamaica Inn
News
YouTube clocks up more than a billion users a month
mediaEuropean rival Dailymotion certainly thinks so
Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents
Arts & Entertainment
‘Self-Portrait Worshipping Christ’ (c943-57) by St Dunstan
books How British artists perfected the art of the self-portrait
News
People
News
Sir Cliff Richard is to release his hundredth album at age 72
PEOPLE
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Cover Supervisor

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Cover Supervisor jobs...

PE Teacher

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Being the UK market l...

Science Teacher

£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Science Teacher Lon...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: The school, the child…We are proud to su...

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players