This talk drew upon 120 years of biographical data [N = 120,764] contained within Who’s Who - a unique catalogue of the British elite - to explore the changing relationship between elite schools and elite recruitment. The speakers argued that the propulsive power of Britain’s ‘public schools’ has diminished significantly over time. This has been driven in part by the wane of military and religious elites, and the rise of women in the labour force. However, the most dramatic declines followed periods of educational reform that both increased access to, and standardised and differentiated the form of, the credentials needed to access elite trajectories. Notwithstanding this fall the talk also underlined that these schools remain extraordinarily powerful channels of elite formation. Even today the alumni of the 9 Clarendon Schools are 94 times more likely to be members of the British elite than those who attended any other school.
Download video / watch below: