Careers in law, medicine and the media are become more exclusive, while citizens from deprived areas continue to be failed by education. New Statesman provides a summary of (some) social mobility issues in the U.K., including these somewhat startling statistics:
- Privately educated candidates account for 7 per cent of the population, but occupy more than half of the top professional jobs.
- 75 per cent of judges, 45 per cent of senior civil servants, and a third of MPs are privately educated.
- More than 4 in 10 places and Oxford and Cambridge go to privately educated candidates.
- 600,000 children take GCSEs annually. 360,000 do not get the five good grades required for university or employment (60 per cent).
- 30 per cent of children on free school meals do not get good GCSEs.
- Of students getting 3 As at A-Level, just 0.5 per cent were eligible for free school meals.
I am reminded of another set of statistics–these from Foreign Policy on various belief systems in America:
- Percentage of Americans who believe in angels: 55
- Percentage of Americans who believe in evolution: 39
- Percentage of Americans who believe in anthropogenic global warming: 36
- Percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts: 34
- Percentage of Americans who believe in UFOs: 34