If you went to private school, top firms are more likely to give you a job

Mind your head on the glass ceiling


Toffee-nosed elitists hiring for top jobs are nudging plummy grads ahead of their working-class peers — by using a posh test.

Around 70 per cent of job offers go to applicants who attended selective state or fee-paying schools, government bods claim.

Candidates are favoured for attending a top Russell Group uni, speaking without an accent, and — bafflingly — going travelling.

The findings come from the sexily-dubbed “Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission”, who spoke with 13 bosses responsible for 45,000 of the best jobs in the country.

This person is well-educated and will get a job instead of you

This person is well-educated and will get a job instead of you

In the commission, one boss whined: “How much mud do I have to sift through in that population to find that diamond?”

Just seven per cent of pupils attend fee-paying schools, with four per cent at selective grammars – in contrast to the 89 per cent at comprehensives.

Almost a third of graduates recruited in the top firms have already worked for them at some level.

And, between 60 and 70 per cent of job offers go to alumni of Russell Group unis.

Lancaster chancellor and commission chief Alan Milburn blasted the “poshness test” firms were enforcing to further disadvantage the less privileged.

Alan Milburn, demonstrating the size of the rich-poor gap

Alan Milburn, demonstrating the size of the rich-poor gap

The former Labour MP said: “This research shows that young people with working class backgrounds are being systematically locked out of top jobs.

“Elite firms seem to requite applicants to pass a ‘poshness test’ to gain entry. Inevitably that ends up excluding youngsters who have the right sort of grades and abilities but whose parents do not have the right sort of bank balances.

“Some of our country’s leading firms are making a big commitment to recruit the brightest and best, regardless of background. They should be applauded.

“But for the rest this is a wake up and smell the coffee moment.

“In some top law firms, trainees are more than five times as likely to have attended a fee-paying school than the population as a whole.

“They are denying themselves talent, stymying young people’s social mobility and fuelling the social divide that bedevils Britain.”

There are conflicting stats on how the type of school affects grades at uni, with some saying private schools will fare better and others that they will do worse than their state educated counterparts.

But privileged toffs are not able to cope with university. Experts blame private education for mollycoddling pupils and making them less capable at facing the transition from school to uni.

Kent prof of Sociology Frank Furedi said: “They have to make their own way and choose their own courses. I would blame a lot of independent schools.

“In many respects it’s the independent sector that led the way, creating the problem.”