Thought I might try a tabloid headline for maximum impact :)
Am pretty surprised no one in the mainstream media picked this one up.
Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of new recruits to the Army at (a) soldier and (b) officer level previously attended state school.
Andrew Robathan (South Leicestershire, Conservative)
The proportion of soldier recruits that had previously attended a state school is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Including the most recent intake of officer cadets to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in January 2013, 53.5% of the UK educated intake over the last 12 months came from state schools. While the remainder will have come from independent schools, it is possible that some will have attended a state school at an earlier point in their education.
Accepting issues of Army officers children following in their parents footsteps (not unusual) who will have benefited from CEA and therefore an independent school and no figures for non UK educated officer cadets.
A couple of points to consider;
- If the Army has the figures to hand for the educational background of its officers, why not other ranks
- About 5 to 7% of pupils in the UK attend independent schools yet represent just over 45% of the Sandhurst intake for the last year
I am not one for social engineering, preferential treatment or bemoaning the lack of social mobility in general but this seems disproportionate.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Does it matter as long as the leadership is effective?
Would also be interesting to see a breakdown by Regiment/Corps and even the same figures for the RAF and RN branches.