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A study by the Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility Commission found that male international football players are some of the few professionals who have not been privately educated. Only 5% of top flight footballers went to an independent school which compares to 30% of pop stars and 44% of leading actors and newspaper columnists.

Higher percentages of public school pupils are found amongst Diplomats [52%], the House of Lords [57%], Civil Service Permanent Secretaries [59%] and Judges [65%] .

Male football is unique even amongst major team sports as 37% of international rugby players and 43% of the English cricket squad were privately educated. Also 80% of the current female international football, cricket and rugby teams were university graduates.  

Dame Martina Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Commission, said “Politicians, employers and educators all need to work together to ensure Britain’s elite becomes more diverse in gender, ethnicity and social background. It is time to close the power gap and ensure that those at the top can relate and represent ordinary people”.