Theresa May said her reshuffle would make her government “more like the country it serves,” but, as the Sutton Trust showed, the percentage of her Cabinet who went to private, fee-paying schools actually increased, from 30 per cent to 34 per cent, as against 7 per cent of the general population who are privately educated.
Her new chair of the Conservative Party, Brandon Lewis (pictured), has an even greater commitment to private schools.
Lewis himself was privately educated at the independent Forest School, then went to Buckingham University — one of the five private universities in Britain — which has close links to Margaret Thatcher, who helped its launch and became university chancellor there when she left office in 1992.
But Lewis has a stronger commitment to private education. According to the register of ministers’ Interests, Lewis is a shareholder of Woodlands Schools Ltd, a company that runs two private primary schools in Essex.
Its two schools charge up to £4,800/term and educate around 320 under-11-year-olds. Lewis was a director of Woodlands Schools until 2012 and says in the minister’s register that his “family members are directors of Woodlands Schools Ltd.”
This is downplaying things a little. Lewis’s father is the majority owner of the private schools company. His father, wife and siblings are all listed as current directors.
Lewis is being touted as a “strong media performer” with a “common touch,” which means he is from a private school background but not Eton.
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