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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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 apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Year 3 Welsh Teacher vacancy in Penarth

£110 - £120 per day + Travel Scheme and Free training: Randstad Education Card...

Male Behaviour Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

SEN Learning Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

Key stage 1 and 2 teachers required for the Vale of Glamorgan

£90 - £110 per day + Travel Scheme & Free Training: Randstad Education Cardiff...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz