Peter Hoskin

Schooling the judges

The judges are judging the judges, or at least judging by the cover of this morning’s Times (£) they are. “Radical reform of the selection of judges,” some leading figures tell the paper, “is needed to break the stranglehold of white Oxbridge males at the top of the judiciary.” The story continues inside the paper, with a tranche of statistics on just how white, Oxbridge and male the judiciary actually is (i.e. very).

It all reminded me of a table we put together for Coffee House some months ago, and which I thought I’d excavate this morning. Here it is, with judges sitting firmly at the bottom:

Of course, some caveats apply to those figures: the state sector isn’t just made up of comprehensives; this refers to the schools system of some decades ago; and so on. But the table still captures something of the awful gulf between state and independent education in this country, and the inequities that follow from it. When it comes to making the professions more diverse, schools reform — among other measures — will have a crucial role to play. 

UPDATE: I have linked to a more complete version of the above table on Twitter. It has the overall state school proportions — made up of both grammar and comprehensive schools — at a higher level, but predominantly because of the grammars.

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