The make-up of Boris Johnson’s cabinet has been called into question following an exam results fiasco which “demonstrably” favoured privately educated pupils.
According to reports released shortly after the reshuffle in February, nearly two-thirds of the Prime Minister’s top team attended a fee-paying school.
Despite boasting he would put together a cabinet “to truly reflect modern Britain” when he entered Downing Street, members of his top team are nine-times as likely to have been privately educated than the general population.
Of the 26 ministers now attending cabinet, 17 received a private education – or 65 per cent – compared with just 7 per cent of the general population.
Two ministers also attended grammar schools while seven received their full education in a state school, or 27 per cent.
According to the educational charity Sutton Trust, the proportion of alumni of independent schools in Mr Johnson’s last cabinet stood at 64 per cent – more than twice that of the team assembled by Theresa May in 2016.
The figure is also higher than David Cameron’s cabinet in 2015, where 50 per cent had attended fee-paying schools.
The analysis also points out that of the 26 ministers attending the cabinet, including the prime minister, 50 per cent also attended either Oxford or Cambridge.
Yet, in July last year, when Mr Johnson won the Tory leadership race, Downing Street vowed: “Boris will build a cabinet showcasing all the talents within the party that truly reflect modern Britain.”
“How unevenly spread the opportunities are”
Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chair of the Sutton Trust, commented at the time: “December’s election led to a seismic shift in the political landscape.
“The falling of the red wall means Conservative MPs now represent a much more diverse range of constituencies than before, with constituents from many different socio-economic backgrounds.
“Yet in terms of educational background, the make-up of Johnson’s cabinet is still over 60 per cent from independent schools.
“Today’s findings underline how unevenly spread the opportunities are to enter the elites and this is something Boris Johnson must address.”
According to Ofqual’s figures pupils at private schools received double the improvement in A* and A grades compared with those attending state comprehensives during this week’s A-level fiasco.
LBC presenter James O’Brien said the result is that boys and girls who attended some of the best schools in Britain will come out with “even more of a head start in life than the kids who went to the comprehensive school around your corner.