Theresa May's cabinet has the lowest number of privately educated ministers in 70 years


Theresa May's cabinet has the lowest proportion of ministers who went to private school in more than 70 years, according to a study.

graphic to show schooling of cabinet ministers

An analysis by social mobility charity the Sutton Trust found that some 70% of the PM's top table were state educated - 44% were at comprehensive schools and 26% at grammar schools.

Just 30% of members were independently educated - the lowest since the government of Labour's Clement Attlee in 1945 (25%).

graphic to compare the proportion of private schooled cabinet ministers under different prime ministers

That said, members of the cabinet are still more than four times more likely to have gone to a fee-paying school than the wider population, of whom just seven per cent went to private schools.

And of the 27 members or attendees to the new-look top team, 44% went to Oxford or Cambridge universities.

Though May herself maintains an "academic dynasty", the Sutton Trust said, because (with the exception of Gordon Brown) every prime minister since 1937 who attended university went to Oxford.

faces of the new cabinet (PA)

The changes in the cabinet are already reflective of May's maiden speech where she vowed to tackle "burning injustice", adding: "If you're at a state school you're less likely to reach the top professions than if you're educated privately."

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation, said: "I was heartened by the new Prime Minister's declaration on the importance of social mobility in her remarks outside Number 10 on Wednesday evening.

"She was absolutely right to highlight the importance of ensuring that everyone should get as far as their talents can take them."