Why public schools are likely to rule in 2010

Much talk at the moment of private schools and politics. With a huge proportion of David Cameron’s shadow cabinet old Etonians and half of the ‘A list’ independently educated, the social make-up of the next Government is likely to be very different (providing the Tories win).

So this got us thinking: is the cult of the intern a middle class/public school phenomena? What about a straw poll for readers of the site? Are you an intern and from a private school?

The Class of 2010 is a new report based on work by academics from Plymouth University. Their research suggests that relative to 1997, the number of new MPs from comprehensive schools will fall from 46% to about 30%.

The report’s authors talk about “a massive shift over the last 12 years towards the private and independent sector”, and also note that the share of new Labour MPs from private school backgrounds may double, from 7% in 1997 to 14%.

Dr Lee Elliott Major, research director of the Sutton Trust, which campaigns to increase opportunity for non-privileged children, said:

“If you look at the people going into politics, internships and low-paid research jobs are now a pre-requisite for making any progress. As far as I know, that applies to David Cameron, for example, as well as many current members of the Labour cabinet. And inevitably, it cuts out people from less advantaged backgrounds.”

“It remains a scandal that unpaid internships are still tolerated in parliament, because they represent an unjustified and easily removed barrier to social mobility.” 

Is the cult of the intern a middle class/public school phenomena? What about a straw poll for readers of the site? Are you an intern and from a private school?

 

Much talk at the moment of private schooling in politics. With a huge proportion of David Cameron’s shadow cabinet old Etonians and half of the ‘A list’ independently educated, the social make-up of the next Government is likely to be very different (providing the Tories win).

The Class of 2010 is a new report based on work by academics from Plymouth University. Their research suggests that relative to 1997, the number of new MPs from comprehensive schools will fall from 46% to about 30%.

The report’s authors talk about “a massive shift over the last 12 years towards the private and independent sector”, and also note that the share of new Labour MPs from private school backgrounds may double, from 7% in 1997 to 14%.

Dr Lee Elliott Major, research director of the Sutton Trust, which campaigns to increase opportunity for non-privileged children, said:

“If you look at the people going into politics, internships and low-paid research jobs are now a pre-requisite for making any progress. As far as I know, that applies to David Cameron, for example, as well as many current members of the Labour cabinet. And inevitably, it cuts out people from less advantaged backgrounds.”

“It remains a scandal that unpaid internships are still tolerated in parliament, because they represent an unjustified and easily removed barrier to social mobility.”

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