Report Overview

We’ve analysed the education backgrounds of Liz Truss’ first cabinet. The majority were privately educated, with the highest proportion having attended independent school since John Major’s cabinet in 1992.

 

68%

The proportion of the new cabinet who were privately educated.

35%

The proportion who attended Oxbridge

26%

The proportion of cabinet ministers who went to both an independent school and Oxbridge 

Key Findings

  • The proportion of alumni of independent schools is higher than Boris Johnson’s first cabinet (64%). It is more than twice that of Theresa May’s 2016 cabinet (30%), and more than both Cameron’s 2015 cabinet (50%) and the 2010 coalition cabinet (62%). 
  • The Prime Minister herself was comprehensively educated, but some of those heading up key departments – including the Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Education Secretary – are among those educated at independent schools.
  • The proportion of independently educated ministers attending Cabinet is less than earlier cabinets under Conservative Prime Ministers, John Major (71% in 1992) and Margaret Thatcher (91% in 1979). Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s cabinets were both 32% privately educated, while 25% of Clement Attlee’s first cabinet had been privately educated.
  • Of the 31 ministers attending Liz Truss’s new cabinet, 35% went to Oxford or Cambridge universities. This compares with 27% of all Conservative MPs, 18% of Labour MPs and 21% of all MPs. 29% of Truss’s cabinet were educated at other Russell Group universities (excluding Oxbridge). 26% of the new cabinet went through a ‘pipeline’ from fee-paying schools to Oxbridge.