Of course

But changing it is a big challenge

Yet another report, this time from the Commission on Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, confirms that the privately educated pretty much run the country.

We have known  this,  of course, since the publication of an ‘Anatomy of Britain’ in the 1960s, (Anthony Sampson) since re-confirmed, and up-dated   by much research from the Sutton Trust .One wonders just  how   much more research we need on this topic . After all,   we have already received the same message time and again ,repeating pretty much the same  statistics, give or take a percentage point ,here or there.  There is a law, surely, of diminishing returns operating  here.   We have got the message, promise! The  report  finds ( yes, again) that   the establishment in the UK is broadly run by those who attended private schools and our best universities. It found that those who had attended fee-paying schools included:

71% of senior judges

62% of senior armed forces officers

55% of permanent secretaries (the most senior civil servants)

53% of senior diplomats.

It states :‘This report examines who is in charge of our country. It does so on the basis of new research which has analysed the background of 4,000 leaders in politics, business, the media and other aspects of public life in the UK.  This research highlights a dramatic over-representation of those educated at independent schools and Oxbridge across the institutions that have such a profound influence on what happens in our country.’

It suggests that Britain is deeply elitist. This is not good news, as it is neither fair nor efficient and certainly isnt meritocratic (but, then again , name a country that is) .As the report says ‘ it  locks  out a diversity of talents and experiences, makes Britain’s leading  institutions less informed, less representative and, ultimately,  less credible than they should be’. Who could disagree with that? What is more of a challenge is working out what to do about it.Some say that you should focus all attention and resources on your schools-they are the main engines of social mobility-others that you need a multi-faceted, cross cutting approach. This report, like all the others ,does not identify a  golden key to unlock social mobility

It  suggests that employers  can help through:

Schools outreach:

Employers should build long-term relationships with schools on mentoring, careers advice, and insights into work

Work experience and internships:

Firms should advertise work experience and pay internships

Recruitment and selection:

Employers should broaden the range of universities they recruit from and use school and university-blind applications

Flexible entry:

Employers should build non-graduate routes, such as Higher Apprenticeships and school-leaver programmes

Monitoring and data collection:

Firms should collect and publish data on data on social background of new recruits and existing staff


The  Social and Child Poverty Commission will take a lead by:


Annual ‘State of the Nation’ report

Continuing to hold the government and other actors in society to account through our Annual Report, published in October

Engaging with firms:  Encouraging the publication of data, opening up of diverse entry routes and widening the talent pool

Low pay research:  Encouraging employers to offer career opportunities and progression for low-paid workers

Encouraging the Social Mobility

Business Compact:  Pushing firms and the government to make tangible changes for social mobility

Advice to ministers: Informing ministers on issues around social mobility and child poverty, to ensure that it remains on the agenda






  1. How convincing is this report given that it comes almost 7-years after the banks were allowed to fail viable small businesses, and the political establishment stood by and said and did nothing. Also, the homelessness that was a consequence of these initial failings almost certainly installed a psychological depression amid an economic one amongst the minds of those whose social mobility was originally rising… how does this report deal with such appalling failings?

    Yes, once again there lacks a will and determination to mention the failed partnership that formed government enterprise finance schemes with banks.

    Thus, does this report say what is needed to be said, and provide a radical reform of policies that do more to ‘protect’ the social mobility of the ‘users’ of such government schemes, and hold government to account on its progress… and failings? I don’t think so.

    Thus, haven’t we been here before? Simply an Abuse of Power that continues to Protect the policy makers and partnerships, but DO NOTHING to bring to attention the appalling losses that strained the hard wok, minds and progressive lives of those who stem from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds.

    • I think your saying that this report doesnt change much which is right. I am not sure of the point of it really. Better use could have been made of the time resources and money…it adds nothing to what the Sutton Trust has already told us and even includes some of their recommendations..

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