Monday, June 06, 2016

British old-boy network still alive and well

A survey by the British educational think-tank The Sutton Trust has highlighted the fact that old class distinctions and the old-boy network are still alive and well in modern Britain's education and employment practices.
The report shows that, although only about 7% of the British population attend exclusive "independent" schools like Eton, Rugby and Winchester (which come with fees of up to $65,00 a year), graduates from these schools make up 74% of the judiciary, 71% of barristers, 71% of top military jobs, 61% of senior doctors, 51% of solicitors, 50% of cabinet politicians, 48% of the civil service, and 34% of top corporate executives. The remaining 93% of the population, therefore, contribute the remainder, i.e. 26% of the judiciary, 29% of barristers and military top brass, etc.
In the same way, less than 1% of the British population attend the elite universities of Oxford or Cambridge, but graduates from those two institutions provide 74% of the judiciary, 47% of cabinet posts, and 31% of top executive positions.
In view of this, the British government (currently led by David Cameron, who, you guessed it, went to Eton College and Oxford University) is launching an effort to push businesses to be less class-conscious in their hiring practices. Some companies, such as accountants Deloitte, have already introduced "school and university blind interviews", where hirers do not have access to candidates' educational institutions, and so are forced to judge them purely on their academic accomplishments and individual merits.
Of course, there are those who object to such "social engineering". The provost of Eton plans to resign from the Conservative Party, and a group of top officials from several independent schools published an open letter in The Times, stressing the outstanding education they offer, and decrying this "discrimination" against their students.

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