LONDON — Theresa May’s government is even more unrepresentative of the country at large following her reshuffle this week, with Cabinet ministers now five times more likely to be privately educated than members of the public.
May’s reshuffle was billed in advance as making her government look more like the nation.
However new analysis by the Sutton Trust
foundation finds that 34% of May’s updated Cabinet received a private education, which is an increase from the 30% of ministers in her first Cabinet.
The proportion of ministers who went to state comprehensive schools has also declined from 26% in 2016 to 24% now.
This means May’s Cabinet is around five times more likely to have gone to a fee-paying school than the general population.
The proportion of ministers who went to Oxford or Cambridge universities has also increased from 44% in 2016 to 48% now. However, this is slightly lower than under Cameron, when 50% of minister went to Oxbridge.
While more women now attend Cabinet, the overall size of the cabinet has increased meaning the proportion of female and ethnic minority cabinet members remains the same as before the reshuffle.
Asked about the findings this afternoon, a spokesperson for the prime minister said that “it’s important the government reflects the country it serves.”
However, they said the government had a good record on social mobility and added that the Sutton Trust findings showed “that the percentage of the cabinet educated at selective or comprehensive schools is significantly higher than it was in 2015.”
They added: “What is important is producing a government that can deliver on the priorities of the British people and deliver social mobility.”