93% of Education Secretaries attended private or grammar schools. Only two did not.

1        Rab Butler                     Marlborough

2        Richard Law                  Shrewsbury School

3        Ellen Wilkinson             Ardwick school

4        George Tomlinson       Rishton Wesleyan School

5        Florence Horsbrugh   Lansdown House

6        Geoffrey Lloyd              Harrow School

7        David Eccles                    Winchester

8        Edward Boyle                  Eton

9        Quintin Hogg                   Eton

10      Michael Stewart                Christ’s Hospital

11      Anthony Crosland           Highgate School

12      Patrick Gordon Walker   Wellington College

13      Edward Short                     College of the Venerable Bede

14      Margaret Thatcher            Kevesten & Grantham Girls’ School

15      Reg Prentice                        Whitgift School

16      Fred Mulley                         Warwick School

17      Shirley Williams                St Paul’s Girl School

18      Mark Carlisle                      Abingdon School

19      Keith Joseph                        Harrow School

20      Kenneth Baker                  Hampton Grammar

21      John MacGregor               Merchiston Castle School

22      Kenneth Clarke                Nottingham High School

23      John Patten                       Wimbledon College

24      Gillian Shephard               North Walsham Girls School

25      David Blunkett                  Royal National College for the Blind

26      Estelle Morris                     Whalley Range Grammar

27      Charles Clarke                  Highgate School

28      Ruth Kelly                           Sutton High School

29      Alan Johnson                   Sloane Grammar School

30      Edward Balls                    Nottingham High School

31      Michael Gove                Robert Gordon’s College

This reiterates the message, broadcast loud  and clear by the Sutton Trust, that those who went to private school and selective state schools dominate the establishment and professions. This was originally flagged up by Anthony Sampson in his book,  initially published in the 1960’s,‘An Anatomy of Britain’.  Social mobility is thought to have stalled over the last generation . The government is seeking to improve the lot of the most disadvantaged pupils and to narrow the achievement gap between them and their peers, through various interventions, including the Pupil Premium. There is no shortage of resource: the Sutton Trust estimates a total of £1bn is spent a year on initiatives to widen access to university , although some critics suggest that there is a poor return on this investment, and access to the elite universities  has barely improved. Disadvantaged pupils tend to  be in the worst  performing schools  and rarely have access to early high quality, face to face advice and guidance that could ensure that they make better  informed choices  that best suit them.   Poor , or no ,careers advice advice and guidance is seen as a major  obstacle to   social mobility. 


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