Two-thirds of new MPs went to comprehensives, research finds

10th May 2015 at 00:01
General election

Almost two-thirds of the new entrants to the House of Commons were educated at comprehensive schools, making them more representative of the population than their longer-serving parliamentary colleagues, according to research.

Analysis by the Sutton Trust finds that 64 per cent of those who were newly elected in Thursday’s general election attended comprehensive schools, compared with 44 per cent of those who were re-elected having served in the 2010-2015 Parliament.

In total, 49 per cent of MPs went to comprehensive schools, up from 43 per cent in the previous Parliament. Almost a third (32 per cent) were educated privately, with a fifth (19 per cent) having attended grammar schools.

The proportion of MPs who were privately educated dropped 3 percentage points after Thursday’s poll, from 35 per cent.

But Dr Lee Elliot Major, chief executive of the Sutton Trust, said the shift did not go far enough.

“The make-up of the House of Commons may have changed a lot this week but the members of the new House show little change from those who preceded them in one significant respect: where they went to school and university.

“Today’s figures remind us how important it is that we do more to increase levels of social mobility and make sure that bright young people from low- and middle-income backgrounds have access to the best schools and the best universities.”

The figures show that 48 per cent of Conservative MPs were privately educated, compared with 17 per cent of Labour MPs, 14 per cent of Liberal Democrat MPs and 5 per cent of Scottish National Party MPs.  

The Sutton Trust gathered data on the school backgrounds of 599 of the 650 MPs elected on Thursday. 

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