Discriminate against job applicants from Eton, says former Tory education secretary

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Should pupils from Eton be penalised in the job market? (Picture: PA)
Should pupils from Eton be penalised in the job market? (Picture: PA)

Companies should discriminate against job applicants from Eton, a former Tory education secretary has said.

Justine Greening described a potential employee from Eton as “probably not as impressive” as someone with the equivalent grades from a less highly thought-of school.

She said employers should consider the school the applicant attended as part of a “contextual recruitment” process, the Times Educational Supplement (TES) reported.

Former education secretary Justine Greening (Picture: PA)
Former education secretary Justine Greening (Picture: PA)

Ms Greening was speaking in New York last month at a summit on social mobility organised by the Sutton Trust, TES said.

According to TES, she said: “Contextual recruitment basically says when you’re looking at someone’s grades who’s applied for a job to you, look at in the context of the school they went to.”

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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.”

She said there is software available to help employers do this, and companies should use it to look at the quality of candidates, TES said.

Annual fees at Eton are £40,000 (Picture: PA)
Annual fees at Eton are £40,000 (Picture: PA)
Ms Greening said Eton pupils may not be as “impressive” as those at less salubrious schools (Picture: PA)
Ms Greening said Eton pupils may not be as “impressive” as those at less salubrious schools (Picture: PA)

Ms Greening said contextual recruitment would allow employers to “stop fishing in a talent puddle and start fishing in a talent pool”.

Eton College charges fees of more than £40,000 per year and has educated 19 British prime ministers, including David Cameron.

Ms Greening attended a comprehensive school in Yorkshire. She quit prime minister Theresa May’s cabinet in January, reportedly because she refused to move from the department of education to work and pensions.

She is being tipped as a potential Conservative candidate in the upcoming race for London mayor.

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