Lee Elliot Major writes in the i newspaper on the Milburn report.
Alan Milburn rightly pulls no punches in his hard-hitting analysis of the narrow educational backgrounds of our ruling elites. Building on Sutton Trust studies, he shows our political masters, law makers and opinion formers remain highly unrepresentative.
They are drawn from a frighteningly shallow talent pool, with only seven per cent of people privately educated in Britain. As the report says, policies are too often devised by politicians and civil servants, and reported by journalists, who ‘all studied the same courses at the same universities, having read the same books, heard the same lectures and even been taught by the same tutors.’
With such very similar upbringings it is little wonder that our elites appear increasingly detached from the rest of the population.
That’s why we must do more to nurture the talents of highly able young people. We should revive programmes for ‘gifted and talented’ pupils nationally and close the 10-fold access gap between rich and poor in our leading universities. We need to open up our best independent day schools based on ability not ability to pay.