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State schools advance in list of FTSE chiefs but still face private bias

Category: In the News
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Gonzalo Vina previewed our Leading People report in the Financial Times

The number of FTSE 100 chief executives educated at non-selective state schools has for the first time equalled those who went to fee-paying private schools, according to a survey of social mobility to be published next week.

The Sutton Trust’s 2015 Leading People Survey, which looked at the educational background of Britain’s elites, will show that 34 per cent of chief executives educated in the UK went to a comprehensive school, putting them neck-and-neck with those who have a private school background and overtaking for the first time those who went to grammar schools.

In 2007, 54 per cent of FTSE 100 bosses were privately schooled while just 26 per cent had gone to a comprehensive. In 1987, the divide was even wider: 70 per cent had gone to a private school and just 10 per cent to a non-selective state school.

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 The Sutton Trust said its report, due out on Wednesday, would continue to show “remarkable stability” across other areas including business, journalism, law, music, medicine, politics and the civil service.

“We need better access to good schools and top universities for young people from low and middle income homes as well as renewed efforts by companies to improve their recruitment practices. We are working with leading firms in the City to change that mindset, but it will require concerted efforts if we are radically to improve social mobility at the top,” Sir Peter said.

Read his full report here (£)