Report Overview

We’ve analysed the education backgrounds of Rishi Sunak’s new cabinet. The majority were privately educated, with 63% attending an independent school.


The proportion of the new cabinet who were privately educated.


The proportion who attended Oxbridge.


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

Key Findings

  • 63% of the cabinet were educated at fee-paying schools, while 19% went to a comprehensive and 16% attended a grammar school. They are nine times more likely to have gone to an independent school than the general population (roughly 7%).
  • The proportion of alumni of independent schools is higher than Rishi Sunak’s previous cabinet (63% vs 61%). It is lower than Liz Truss’s cabinet (68%), but similar to Boris Johnson’s first cabinet (64%). It is more than twice that of Theresa May’s 2016 cabinet (30%), and more than Cameron’s 2015 cabinet (50%).
  • The proportion of cabinet ministers educated at comprehensive schools is the same as Liz Truss’s cabinet at 19%, but lower than Boris Johnson’s first cabinet (27%).
  • The Prime Minister, the Chancellor, the Foreign Secretary and the Home Secretary were all 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 both had 32% of those attending cabinet privately educated, while 25% of Clement Attlee’s first cabinet had been privately educated.
  • Of the 32 ministers attending Sunak’s new cabinet, over half (53%) went to Oxford or Cambridge.
  • 41% of the new cabinet went from fee-paying schools to Oxbridge.