class gap

Well bred dimwits get best jobs and more gongs

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green_stick_figure_stand_out_crowd_1600_wht_1832An analysis of the latest honours list shows how well public school educated men do in being awarded honours.

Research last year also showed that low achievers from an affluent background are 35% more likely to be higher earners when they grow up than bright children from poor backgrounds.

A girl who scores poorly on an IQ test at age 5 doubles her chances of earning high wages if she goes to a private school rather than a comprehensive school. A boy who scores low at the same age is 18% more likely to be in the top fifth of earners at age 42 if he goes to a private school.

It helps if your parents have a degree. It boosts boys’ earning prospects by12% and girls’ by 17% if they’re high attainers i.e. in the top 40%. For low attainers i.e. in the bottom 40%, it boosts girls’ prospects by 100% and boys’ by 69%. Children from better-off families score higher on cognitive tests e.g. IQ tests, than those from poorer backgrounds as they have better nurturing. There is even a correlation between the social background of a child’s grandfather and their career prospects.

So much for social mobility. The affluent classes have pulled up the drawbridge behind them when it comes to career opportunities.

Alan Milburn, chairman of the Social Mobility & Child Poverty Commission (SMCPC)  said there was a glass floor as much as a glass ceiling holding people back. The commission published a report last June called Social Mobility, Opportunity Hoarding and the Glass Floor

He said “No one should criticise parents for doing their best for their children. But Britain is a long way from being a meritocratic society when the less able can do better than the more able”

The report warns that while it is politically palatable to improve the chances of bright disadvantaged people it is less so for them to accept that the better off might lose out.

When there is limited room at the top you can’t improve social mobility unless it goes both ways.  And as the Labour Force survey I posted about in November shows, there is still a class gap in earnings depending on your background.

Milburn wants the disadvantaged to be given the “support, advice and development opportunities” that better-off middle class families take for granted. He also wants to reduce what the report calls “opportunity hoarding” for example by urging employers to ensure that “internships aren’t reserved for those with the right social contacts. It’s a social scandal that all too often some demography is destiny in Britain”