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71% of 'top people' went to private school, or grammar school

(282 Posts)
joanbyers Tue 20-Nov-12 13:27:14


"Ten leading independent schools accounted for 12% of the leading people for which schools data was available. These are: Eton College; Winchester College; Charterhouse School; Rugby School; Westminster School; Marlborough College; Dulwich College; Harrow School; St Paul’s Boys’ School; Wellington College (see table 1 for top 100 schools). "

It's interesting that these leading schools are pretty much ALL boarding schools, the significance of which is that the fees tend to be around £30k/year (so I reckon this is as much about parental connections as anything else)

Wellington does not have a glittering academic reputation, sending handfuls to Oxford. Charterhouse, on £32k/year, has a fraction of the Oxbridge admissions of the nearby Royal Grammar School, Guildford (fees only £13k/year) - which is present in the list, at #58, but behind schools for the rich but dim such as Bradfield

The leading independent schools that aren't exclusively boarding schools (and therefore implying super-rich parents) are all in London, which is home of the elite.

The leading comps are Holland Park School, where lefties send their kids for ideological reasons and which has had £10s of millions lavished on it, and Haverstock School, which is likewise a popular choice with the left-wing elite.

Just 10% of 'top people' attended a comprehensive.

Of course these figures are calculated many years in arrears, so not the best guide for the future, but the 44% of leading people who attended private schools I guess will increase, as the 27% who went to grammars die off (i.e. most of the grammar schools listed are now comps)

Xenia Tue 20-Nov-12 18:37:17

I think the phase where you had to adopt estuary English to get on and had to have a regional accent to progress at the BBC is over. A lot of employers still want a decent accent.

joanbyers Tue 20-Nov-12 18:44:09

Friend of mine (Asian) trying to deal with First Direct cannot understand the Scots. She hangs up in frustration and tries again for someone who speaks clearer English.

losingtrust Tue 20-Nov-12 18:49:49

Yes and the same for me when I tried to speak to a New York bank share dealing department recently - I could not understand a word so what?

losingtrust Tue 20-Nov-12 18:52:36

A clear accent is always useful but not worth paying 20k a year for an accent. Margaret Thatcher had lessons to improve her speech but not to obtain a cut glass accent.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Tue 20-Nov-12 18:52:49

Asinine, for maximum accuracy, I prefer 'gets paid' squillions, rather than 'earns' squillions grin

God, don't get Xenia started on accents or we'll be here all week!

joanbyers Tue 20-Nov-12 18:59:19

I noticed about the accent recently, I found a video of my DS aged 5, when he had been going to state school, and his accent is very estuary. He has been at private school for 5 1/2 years now, and the estuary has completely gone.

This wasn't a goal of ours for going private btw!

Goes down well overseas, FWIW.

Asinine Tue 20-Nov-12 19:03:28


Excellent point.

dinkybinky Tue 20-Nov-12 19:05:15

I can’t stand the slang/cockney accent that’s been adopted by the majority of today’s youth.

losingtrust Tue 20-Nov-12 19:06:07

I don't have an accent either and it cost my parents nothing but the time to correct my English which I do with my kids. Nobody can pin point where I come from.

maisiejoe123 Tue 20-Nov-12 19:06:49

My son goes to one of the boarding schools mentioned. Having come from a sec modern where there were no expectations I decided to go into a career that was well paid.

I hear on Mumsnet mums who say they cannot find roles that allow them fleixble hours or ones which give them flexibility to cover family issues. I never expected my employee to give me set hours - if you want that go and work where the hours are set (the pay wont be great) but you will be able to leave on time.

Consequently my partner and I can afford the fees for boarding school. Someone correct me but a recent survey said that 50% of people would send their children to private schools if they could. I think it says it all.

Yes, I could have tried the local school. In fact I did look round but ran a mile when the head said that during sports day the spectators were clapped as loudly as the person who came first in a race to ensure no one felt left out...

losingtrust Tue 20-Nov-12 19:09:08

Dinky I am going to be honest here my kids are a bit snobby about accents and when joe swash comes on my daughter groans at his accent and she is 8. I cannot watch Eastenders for the same reason but I do find a northern accent very wam. I am from Birmingham but my parents hated it so I never had one.

losingtrust Tue 20-Nov-12 19:12:23

Maisiejoe that just illustrates a very poor example of only looking at one state school. Contrary to popular belief most state schools do encourage sports competitiveness via houses. Also your experience of going to a secondary modern is different from alot of people who went to a true comp and is a reason why the 11+ was an awful system.

Narked Tue 20-Nov-12 19:12:55

Is it really a shock that success in certain areas of life is based on who you know not what you know and being 'the right sort'?

Narked Tue 20-Nov-12 19:14:25

I'd exempt Manchester Grammar from that, because it's a true academic hothouse.

maisiejoe123 Tue 20-Nov-12 19:29:50

The 11+ is still in our area. The competitive is fierce. Not all of these people can be wrong. There is a great demand for it. And the one example of state education was dreadful when I looked at my local school but it was likely to be the only school he would be offered so why on earth would I settle for it. My own state education was horrible and rife with low aspirations for everyone.l Why would I want to repeat it for my children. And the 11+ is very popular here hence the house prices!

losingtrust Tue 20-Nov-12 19:45:11

We will agree to differ on that then because I was state educated in an area with no grammar schools and our school had very high expectations of their kids as does the school my son is at who took him to a good university in year 7 to show him the facilities as he is a science star. At parents evening in year 7 the talk was which subject he would go on to study and he and his friends are very competitive about results. If my daughter was less academic I would have to check whether the same school would be appropriate but I do have other choices and my view is I could pay for private but if the state schools suit they are definitely my first choice and from the people I know going to a state comp in any way and they are all pro comp but my dad who went to a secondary modern was less pro state.

losingtrust Tue 20-Nov-12 19:47:56

House prices here are very expensive next to the best comps and I believe there are only a couple of areas now that still do the 11+ as normal so the rest of the UK are more comp-orientated.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 20-Nov-12 19:53:07

only three counties are fully 11+

I reiterate
the "list" is of people whose birthdays are listed in the Times
it is therefore neither representative, unbiased or reflects current school output
as 86 year olds who bought their way into schools and posts of influence are given higher standing than 22 year olds who are working bloody hard

hence my initial response of

losingtrust Tue 20-Nov-12 20:11:53

Nicely succinct talkinpeace.

Niceweather Tue 20-Nov-12 21:24:52

I was wondering the same thing Loveroflife. I would have thought that there were loads of "top people" working as midwives, teachers and the like from schools all over the place.

grovel Tue 20-Nov-12 21:58:09

I went to a "top" school. My DH went to a "top school". Our DS went to a "top" school. We are not "top" people in terms of influence.
The nurse I saw today was a "top" person to me. I was frightened and she had the authority, charisma and experience to calm my fears. My cleaner (3 hours a week) is a "top" person to me - hard-working, funny, worldly-wise. I don't think they went to Roedean.
It's all bollocks.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 20-Nov-12 22:01:23

71% of 'top people' confused got sent to private school as children. Yes, I expect the private schools dragged those poor unfortunate disadvataged children they were sent at 8 or 11 or 13 up from nothing. Well done the private schools hmm

Heroine Tue 20-Nov-12 22:03:55

NOOO! this is because if you go to those public schools, you are on a track that will recruit you, no matter how good you are, into top positions! Its not that private schools turn out top people at all!

The sad thing is that at some layers of society we still recruit from class rather than ability, and the only deviation from that is that we recruit from money not from ability.

Private schools DO NOT select on ability, they select on money. If an employer wants the best able, best educated people, recruiting by class and money is not the way to do it SINCE MONEY AND CLASS WILL ACCELERATE EVEN THE THICKEST INTO GOOD JOBS.

As a nation we need to get the most able into the best jobs, otherwise we will continue the global slide that comfortable class based recruitment has left us in.

StillSquiffy Tue 20-Nov-12 22:13:43

The saddest thing about all of this is that the quality of journalism in this country is so poor that the papers have led this story without any of them picking up on the fact that the 'statistics' are based on the most ridiculous bit of bullshit info you can imagine? It could only be the Sutton Trust issuing this 'research' because no self respecting university research dept would have allowed such shoddy and biased data through the review process.

Must have been state educated, those journos, I tell ya

happygardening Wed 21-Nov-12 08:04:55

Do you want your children to become one of these top people? Why? My DH has depending on your point of view the fortune or the misfortune to work for the super super rich and we have a couple of friends who fall into this category Multimillionaire/billionaire they may have possessions 600 foot super yachts houses in every major city in the world submarines private planes etc but they are not necessarily any happier than we are. This money doesn't make you immune from affairs divorce death illness. Then there another lot the one on only £500 000+ PA (again friends in this category) I wouldn't swop my life for theres. I don't see it as being any better than mine. Ok big houses better cars but they work every hour that God sent, on their holidays worrying all the time that things aren't being done as they should be when they're not there, checking emails junior members of their team ring them up needing them to make final decisions, most travel all over the world for work ok business class and luxury hotels but many will testify its not that exciting after the initial novelty has worn off and their partners children barely see them again sadly not immune from affairs divorce ill health and death.
I personally aspire for my DC's to be happy healthy functioning members of society with a conscience able to pay for the essentials in life put a roof over their head have time to pursue things that interest them form a happy lasting relationship I accept that you need money to do these things but I personally are not educating my children to be one of these top people.

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