Justine Greening: Employers should discriminate against Etonians

Posted On: 
1st May 2018

Employers should discriminate against Eton-educated job-seekers, former Education Secretary Justine Greening has suggested.

Eton boys The elite school has produced 19 British Prime Ministers
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PA Images

The ex-Cabinet minister - who quit Theresa May's government earlier this year - said companies should hire state school candidates over those from Eton when candidates have the same grades.

The Times Education Supplement reports that Ms Greening made the remarks at a social mobility summit in New York, saying: “Contextual recruitment basically says when you’re looking at someone’s grades who’s applied for a job . . . look at them in the context of the school they went to.

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“You can easily do this, there’s software to help you as a company," she added.

“So if you get three Bs from Eton, you’re probably not as impressive as somebody who gets three Bs from the school in a part of the country where the school [wasn’t] doing well.”

Ms Greening’s comments are likely to viewed by Conservative colleagues as a dig at senior frontbenchers – including foreign secretary Boris Johnson – who attended the £40,000-a-year school.

She said that candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds were 50 per cent more like to be hired after contextual recruitment “because the companies are looking more sophisticatedly at their future potential, not just looking at grades as a bit of a rear-view mirror on where the child and the young person began.”

The former Education Secretary urged employers to adopt the scheme, saying it would allow them to "stop fishing in a talent puddle and start fishing in a talent pool".

Ms Greening left the Cabinet after Theresa May tried to move from her education brief following a spat over university tuition fees and the Prime Minister’s continued support for grammar schools.