The latest research by the Sutton Trust has found that those who attended a private school still dominate leading professions in Britain.
The privately-educated are significantly more likely to land the best roles across a wide range of sectors, despite only seven per cent of the population having attended an independent school. The Sutton Trust report tracked those in positions of power in ten sectors - including law, politics, medicine and journalism - and found that 74% of the UK's 147 senior judges and 71% of high-ranking military figures were privately-educated.
In Britain, 88% of the population attends a comprehensive school but this majority is vastly under-represented in the most senior roles. Only 17% of the country’s top doctors and 20% of leading print journalists attended state schools.
However it wasn't all bad news for the state-educated, with the research suggesting there has been some progress elsewhere. In politics, despite many commentators suggesting it's still highly elitist, there has been a recent shift away from private school MPs. Only 32% of current MPs were educated at independent schools and this drops to 13% among members of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet. Furthermore, in business 66% of the top roles are held by the state school educated.
Overall, social mobility through talent and hard work is improving. In the last five years the number of students from a disadvantaged background attending a Russell Group university doubled. But progress is slow.
Here at Bright Network, we're passionate about helping talented individuals fulfil their potential by giving them the tools they need to succeed. That's why we host our state school event, Bright Network Future Leaders. This event connects 100 state school-educated undergraduates with five leading employers, McKinsey & Co, (Premier Sponsor), Dentons, Goldman Sachs, Civil Service Fast Steam and Teach First.
As the Sutton Trust report reveals, there is a clear and ongoing need to support highly capable students from all backgrounds - and that's why we're making this part of our mission. You can find out more about Bright Network Future Leaders here.