Sutton Trust CEO, Dr Lee Elliot Major, writes to the Times about accents and social mobility.
Sir, Of the hundreds of accents in the UK, the Queen’s English is unique in being a marker of class rather than region. It singles out its speaker as having had a particular upbringing and education. Our research has shown that there are still many barriers that stop talented graduates from less privileged backgrounds from accessing top careers. How they present themselves — including the accent they speak with — is one of them.
Meades is wrong to suggest that social mobility would improve if more young people put on an RP accent. If we are serious about improving social mobility we have to tackle the prejudices that many people with regional accents face in the workplace.
Dr Lee Elliot Major
CEO, Sutton Trust
Get the full story.