Private schools dominating Britain's boardrooms

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Class is dominating Britain's boardrooms, with a study finding almost half of FTSE 100 senior executives were privately educated compared to just 7% of the population.

The report published by Equal Approach, looked at the secondary school background of FTSE 100 CEOs and chairs educated in the UK, and the universities they attended.

It found 28% went to either Oxford or Cambridge and 52% went to one of the prestigious Russell Group universities.

Dawn Milman-Hurst, chief executive of Equal Approach, said the findings were "disappointing".

"A lot of attention has been paid to the 'glass ceiling' and lack of female representation at board level; but we should also consider the 'class ceiling' which state-schooled pupils can find hard to break," said Milman-Hurst.

"It's time we restated our commitment to fair access in UK plc so that anyone can make it to the top of business, whatever their background."

The study found 60% of senior executives in the oil and gas industry were privately educated, as well as 57% of CEOs and chairs in the media industry. However, none of the leaders of the UK's biggest banks were privately educated.

"Diversity brings numerous commercial benefits," said Milman-Hurst. "As the most visible figureheads of companies, and leaders of the board and management team, chairs and CEOs have a key role to play in this."

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