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.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
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

Senior IT Support Engineer - Education Sector - Shepherd's Bush

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior IT Support Engineer - Educati...

KS2 Teacher required

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: KS2 teacher required ...

LSA

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: To work as part of the Le...

KS1 Float Teacher needed in the Vale

£100 - £110 per day + Travel scheme plus free professional trainnig: Randstad ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week