New study shows the shocking extent of Britain’s social mobility problem


Social mobility in “deeply elitist” Britain is so embedded it has created a “closed shop at the top”, according to a government report.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has released a 76-page report this morning outlining the state of elitism in Britain’s top jobs.

In a study of more than 4,000 people in government, the civil service, the judiciary, the media, business and the creative industries, the commission found those who were privately educated held the majority of the top jobs, despite making up only 7% of the population.

A total of 71% of senior judges, 62% of senior officers in the armed forces, 55% of permanent secretaries in Whitehall, 53% of senior diplomats, 50% of members of the House of Lords and 45% of public body chairs went to private school.

While Oxbridge graduates make up less than 1% of the total population, 75% of senior judges went to Oxbridge, along with 59% of cabinet ministers, 57% of permanent secretaries, 50% of diplomats, 47% of newspaper columnists, 44% of public body chairs, 38% of members of the House of Lords, 33% of BBC executives and 33% of shadow cabinet ministers.

Alan Milburn, who chairs the commission, said: “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.”

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