Old boys of nine top public schools are 94 times more likely to hold the most powerful jobs in the country than their peers, a study suggests.
Research from the London School of Economics shows men who attended Britain’s most prestigious schools – including Eton and Harrow – still dominate public life.
Alumni from these nine fee-paying institutions hold almost 10 per cent of top positions, despite such schools educating only 0.15 per cent of pupils.
Old boys of nine top public schools (including Charterhouse, pictured) are 94 times more likely to hold the most powerful jobs in the country than their peers, a study suggests
Also in the study were Charterhouse, Merchant Taylors’, Rugby, Shrewsbury, St Paul’s, Westminster, and Winchester College.
Researchers analysed data on around 120,000 entrants to Who’s Who from 1892 to 2016 – born between 1830 and 1969. For this period, the nine schools admitted boys only.
Entrants include MPs, peers, judges, senior civil servants, heads of public bodies, poet laureates, and heads of museums and large arts organisations.
For the 2016 edition, alumni of the nine schools were 94 times more likely to be included than those of any other institution.
Even among Oxbridge graduates, old boys from the nine schools were twice as likely to be in Who’s Who.
Authors Dr Aaron Reeves and Dr Sam Friedman said the schools’ power ‘remains a testament to how far adrift Britain lies from true equality of opportunity’ and that it goes ‘beyond simple academic excellence and may be rooted in an extensive extra-curricular education that endows old boys with a particular way of being that signals elite male status’.
Alumni from these nine fee-paying institutions (including Shrewsbury School) hold almost 10 per cent of top positions, despite such schools educating only 0.15 per cent of pupils
The report noted the schools’ dominance has declined over time. A boy born in 1847 who went to one of these institutions was about 274 times more likely to end up in Who’s Who than peers at other schools.
But a boy born in 1967 who went to one of the top schools was around 67 times more likely to get an entry. The researchers said this was partly due to the introduction of universal education to 16 and standard exams.
There has also been a drop in significance of military and religious leaders, who traditionally had strong links to such schools, and a rise in women and foreign-born Who’s Who entrants.
However, the authors said the decline in the schools’ power has ‘largely stalled’ over the past 16 years, at around 8 per cent of new entrants.