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Nick Clegg to end 'Who you know' culture watch

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    Off the top of my head there are a few good policies you could adopt to achieve this:

    1) More scholarships at private schools for the poor.
    2) Bring back more Grammar schools, the recent drop in social mobility is precisely because of Labour's assault upon them.
    3) Make government departments and large companies take on a certain quota of working class people for internships - This is crucial. There are so many special programmes for if you are black, a lesbian, a vegetarian Zoroastrian from Iran but literally none for white working class students. When a lot of getting good jobs relies around connections and past experiences, this gives a massive boost to rich families who can afford to fund their children through unpaid internships to give them a step up the ladder.
    4) No taking on the sons or daughters of management level employees in public sector organisations - This also happens a lot. If your mother or father has a high up position in the public sector, it's very easy for you to get into what is quite often a tough working place to break into.
    5) Fund more places on government volunteering schemes for working class people - Again many rich families can afford to send their children off to Panama or Nepal for the summer working on volunteer projects that look very good on their children's CVs. In comparision working class families simply can't afford this and it impacts negatively on their children's prospects of employment when you compare them to the middle class candiate who's CV is full of foreign volunteering experience and internships.

    Introduce these five ideas and you might get somewhere towards increasing social mobility again.


    As a white working class student who goes to a decent uni (1994 Group) I've encountered problems with the last three points fairly regularly over my university career. I wanted to do an internship with the foreign office, asked them about it and they said they don't do them. However they do an internship program for student of ethnic minorities backgrounds. Which smacks of affirmative action and ignores the problem that so many working class people with potential have just as much problem breaking into decent jobs as those from ethnic minorities.

    I also tried to get an internship with the local council this summer, again they said they don't do them. However I know for a fact that a friend of mine who's parents work for the council have managed to get him a month's placement in one of the council departments, which will help him immensely if he wants to go into the public sector later.
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    (Original post by TheFatController)
    LOL someone should mail that pic directly to him.
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    I think you are confusing cause and effect and ignoring a huge variety of other factors.

    First of all there is no context for that graph of yours, which seems to make the implication that all high class individuals will always succeed over their lower class counterparts, a fact which, has been disproved many times.

    You are also making the implication that it is all 'contacts' instead of quality of teaching, work ethic, and opportunities, all of which are more likely to be given to a child from a higher class background.
    I did address that in my third paragraph



    (Original post by No Future)
    There are many private schools and most of them are NOT Eton et al. Going to a private school doesn't necessarily mean that you or your family has lots of money and connections. This is a myth. It may be true for some pupils in the richest or 'well known' public schools, but it is certainly not a general feature of most families who send their children to private schools.
    It's pretty solid evidence though. The rich tend to send their kids to private schools much more than the poor tend to send their kids there, with the disparity increasing the more expensive (and hopefully better) the school is.

    (Original post by Ultimate1)
    :facepalm:

    You do realise he is in a coalition, right? The whole point of a coalition is to get enough seats so that when issues such as tuition fees are being voted for at Parliament, you have enough seats to win what your party, the party in power, wants.
    Clegg didn't fight for it, he didn't even want to fight for it.
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    (Original post by CharlotteM/)
    They could just abolish private schools. That would stop it. Why should some people get a significantly better education than the rest of us?
    Because some people are significantly better than the rest of you.
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    (Original post by cttp_ngaf)
    It can't be stopped, it's such an integral part of how any and all business gets done, always has been and always will be. I don't even see why it's a problem.
    Are you mad?

    Why should someone who knows someone get an internship ahead of better candidates?

    Who you know, rather than what you know, is the first step away from anything meritocratic.

    You'd be fuming if you didn't get into uni or didn't get a job you wanted because the Vice Chancellor's golf buddy's son was given your place or your employer's cousins daughter got the job.
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    (Original post by Hopple)
    It's pretty solid evidence though. The rich tend to send their kids to private schools much more than the poor tend to send their kids there, with the disparity increasing the more expensive (and hopefully better) the school is.
    .
    Ok, yes but that doesn't mean the family has "connections" just because they send their child to a private school
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    You'd be fuming if you didn't get into uni or didn't get a job you wanted because the Vice Chancellor's golf buddy's son was given your place or your employer's cousins daughter got the job.
    But so far nobody has given a reasonable way to stop that. All it's been so far is the usual rich bashing, oh they're rich so must be dim and obviously cheated to get where they are. We obviously want to create a society based on merit, but how is bashing the rich simply for being rich going to solve that?
    The OP showed a graph that had the % of certain high class proffesions that attended an independant school. How is that relevant to the argument? If there was corresponding evidence that showed that the rich got lower grades and yet still got these jobs then yes I'd agree, but all that shows is those who go to better schools are more likely to get better jobs, which is kind of obvious.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Why should someone who knows someone get an internship ahead of better candidates?
    "someone who knows someone"? I'm not certain what that means or what the rest of that candidate's life and skills are. But in any case, by definition the "better candidate" should get the place. But, who they know will be part of the assessment of each candidate, and will be part of what defines the "better" candidate as being better.
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    I'd like to say that this is a signal that the government are heading in the right direction. But then Clegg did say that he'd scrap tuition fees - prior to customarily trebling them. I'm sure I'm not the first to call "bull****".
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    (Original post by cttp_ngaf)
    "someone who knows someone"? I'm not certain what that means or what the rest of that candidate's life and skills are. But in any case, by definition the "better candidate" should get the place. But, who they know will be part of the assessment of each candidate, and will be part of what defines the "better" candidate as being better.
    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    But so far nobody has given a reasonable way to stop that. All it's been so far is the usual rich bashing, oh they're rich so must be dim and obviously cheated to get where they are. We obviously want to create a society based on merit, but how is bashing the rich simply for being rich going to solve that?
    The OP showed a graph that had the % of certain high class proffesions that attended an independant school. How is that relevant to the argument? If there was corresponding evidence that showed that the rich got lower grades and yet still got these jobs then yes I'd agree, but all that shows is those who go to better schools are more likely to get better jobs, which is kind of obvious.
    It's not bashing the rich for being rich. I'm certainly not bashing the rich for being rich.

    Surely you must see the problem with jobs based on who you know rather than what you know?

    It completely trashes the concept of working hard to get places. That's what our society, IMO, should be built on. Anyone with the intelligence and the ability should be able to get a top job, who you know shouldn't factor into it.

    As for the jobs, yes I see your point. Usually, a better school means a better job. However as far as I can see those statistics in the graphic seem to show that high ability means less than social class.

    High social class and low ability is higher on the employment chart than low social class and high ability.

    IMO, it is f*cking criminal that social class means more than ability. 70% of high court judges are from private schools. I bet the majority of the remaining 30% are from top state schools too. I imagine no more than 5% of high court judges attended a state comprehensive.

    Really, all I'm saying is that class and "who you know" shouldn't be a factor. Unfortunately, it is. When the low ability/high class kids are doing better than the high ability/low class kids, there is a severe social problem. A completely disproportionate amount of high court judges, top medics, barristers, MPs, etc are from private schools.

    As someone who is of a low social class and reasonably high ability, I find it disgusting that someone from a higher class who isn't as clever as me will go further in life.
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    I don't really see how this can be stopped. Now I think about it, I got legal work experience in year ten because my mum's friend knew a barrister, whereas a couple of other people just couldn't because they didn't know anyone. And that was without being rich or going to a private school.
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    (Original post by Hopple)
    the Milibands probably had the same contacts as one another, and the Lords have quite a few members who have effectively paid for their seat.
    I'm not going to say that the Miliband brothers aren't clever people (I'm sure they both got at least a first and got onto prestigious international education programmes (at Harvard and MIT, I think)

    However, I did read somewhere that the older Miliband brother got into Oxford with BCD at A-Level...
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    (Original post by sugarmice)
    I don't really see how this can be stopped. Now I think about it, I got legal work experience in year ten because my mum's friend knew a barrister, whereas a couple of other people just couldn't because they didn't know anyone. And that was without being rich or going to a private school.
    Yep - you can't stop people from knowing other people, and you can't stop people liking the people they know and hence preferring to give them opportunities over someone they've never met and don't know at all.
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    Creating a meritocracy is the ultimate goal of any civilised society in my opinion.

    The most able people should be in the jobs that demand the most of them, and that can tap their potential for the benefit of the country.

    If these reforms go some way to getting rid of the nepotism (which if you benefit it from is great, but if you don't makes it much harder to succeed in life, even if you deserve to) of the past, then it can only be a good thing.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    IMO, it is f*cking criminal that social class means more than ability. 70% of high court judges are from private schools. I bet the majority of the remaining 30% are from top state schools too. I imagine no more than 5% of high court judges attended a state comprehensive.

    Really, all I'm saying is that class and "who you know" shouldn't be a factor. Unfortunately, it is. When the low ability/high class kids are doing better than the high ability/low class kids, there is a severe social problem. A completely disproportionate amount of high court judges, top medics, barristers, MPs, etc are from private schools.
    Social class doesn't mean more than ability. If you get good grades from Eton, you've got ability, end of. You seem to be justifying that the smart guy from Eton should be sent to the back of the queue solely because he is from Eton.
    The rich spend more on their kid's education, their kid's are more likely to get good grades and more likely to get good jobs. But there is no evidence that they are getting these jobs solely because of connections.
    One of my friends in the army, he's dad is minted, he went to a private boarding school but flopped his A Levels. All the influence and money in the world isn't going to make him a High Court Judge, because it won't change the fact he's a complete spacker.
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    (Original post by pol pot noodles)
    Social class doesn't mean more than ability. If you get good grades from Eton, you've got ability, end of. You seem to be justifying that the smart guy from Eton should be sent to the back of the queue solely because he is from Eton.
    The rich spend more on their kid's education, their kid's are more likely to get good grades and more likely to get good jobs. But there is no evidence that they are getting these jobs solely because of connections.
    One of my friends in the army, he's dad is minted, he went to a private boarding school but flopped his A Levels. All the influence and money in the world isn't going to make him a High Court Judge, because it won't change the fact he's a complete spacker.
    Look on the graph, unless I'm reading that wrong, the low ability/high class pupils end up with the best jobs...

    I'm honestly not bothered if rich kids come out with good grades and get a good job. I think we all know that a lot of people with connections end up in a job because of those connections.

    I've read several articles on this matter recently. One paper referred to it as 'internship swapping'. An example given was a banker and a lawyer giving their children internships in each other's offices. The banker gave the lawyer's daughter an internship in his department and the lawyer gave the banker's son an internship in his department.

    They may both have been excellent candidates, we'll never know. However, getting in somewhere because you know someone completely distorts the system. It's particularly relevant to high competition fields such as medicine where work experience can make or break a candidates application. The kids in the higher social-class are more likely to have a doctor in their parent's social circle, and as such can negotiate work experience easier.

    Now, I'm not saying that that always happens, but clearly it does and IMO it's wrong.

    However, I must also say that I don't think the Civil Service's Fast Stream programme should give specific advantage to individuals from 'under-represented' backgrounds.

    I don't believe in any kind of advantage one cannot make for themselves. Positive discrimination is just as bad as this "who you know" culture
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    I am a working class student and I can tell you that it's bloody hard to break into anywhere as one. If you don't have the money to afford to do numerous unpaid internships and you don't have the connections to get internships to start with, you're going to struggle to get anywhere. Furthermore you don't have the fall back position that various ethnic minorities have of affirmative action programs within government, because no one cares about the white working class.

    This is not about bashing rich kids, this is entirely about giving people with potential from less wealthy backgrounds the ability to show that potential. In which Ilickbatteries is completely correct.
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    (Original post by CharlotteM/)
    They could just abolish private schools. That would stop it. Why should some people get a significantly better education than the rest of us? All it does is perpetuate the class system.
    Why should some people get better cars than the rest of us? Why should some people get better houses? TVs? People are free to spend their money on what they want.

    What you could do is say that all children have to attend a state school. But that still doesn't rule out the rich paying for extra tution for their children. You can't make it illegal to pay for tuition of any kind.

    (Original post by ajp100688)
    3) Make government departments and large companies take on a certain quota of working class people for internships - This is crucial. There are so many special programmes for if you are black, a lesbian, a vegetarian Zoroastrian from Iran but literally none for white working class students. When a lot of getting good jobs relies around connections and past experiences, this gives a massive boost to rich families who can afford to fund their children through unpaid internships to give them a step up the ladder.
    Interesting idea, but how do you define someone as working class? Household income? The area they live in? Where they have lived previously?
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    (Original post by Psyk)
    Why should some people get better cars than the rest of us? Why should some people get better houses? TVs? People are free to spend their money on what they want.
    odd that you should equate education with typical upper-middle class positional goods - I think there's a farly solid argument for looking at education as a different class of spending.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    odd that you should equate education with typical upper-middle class positional goods - I think there's a farly solid argument for looking at education as a different class of spending.
    My point is that if people aren't free to spend their money on what they want (in this case, their children's education) then why have money at all? As mentioned in my second point, I don't see how you could stop private tuition. The best you could do is require all children to have a state education as a minimum, but you can't stop them having extra private tuition on top of that.
 
 
 
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