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MP blames private schools for England football failure

Category: In the News
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The Times’ Martyn Ziegler cites comments from Lee Elliot Major’s blog article ‘England’s level playing field‘ and our research on the educational background of Olympic medallists.

England’s footballing humiliation at the feet of Iceland this summer and the team’s failure to win a trophy in 50 years has been blamed on the elitism of private schools.

The Labour MP Stella Creasy, a former shadow home office minister, suggested the record of the England team would improve if more players were educated in comprehensives.

Ms Creasy told MPs that 13 per cent of the squad were privately educated, double the proportion of pupils at independent schools. While she based her claims on a report from 2014, a snap analysis by The Times of the 26-strong squad identified one player who had been privately educated.

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A Sutton Trust report in 2014 showed that three of England’s then 23-man squad were privately educated. None of those players are still in the squad. Eric Dier, who is on the team, was educated in Portugal and it is not known whether it was a state or private institution.

The think tank reported in August that one third of the British medallists at the Rio Olympics were independently educated, and that in 2014 some 59 per cent of the England rugby team and 45 per cent of the England cricket team had attended private schools.

Read the full article here.