§ Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Prime Minister if she has studied the recent report of the Civil Service Commission indicating that 71 per cent. of entrants to the administrative grade of the Civil Service in 1982 were educated at Oxford or Cambridge; if she will take steps to ensure that entrants to senior grades in the Civil Service are more representative of other universities and polytechnics and of the community generally; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
This percentage relates to those who entered the Civil Service through the administration trainee scheme. Former administration trainees, and their assistant principal predecessors, form only one of the sources from which promotions to senior grades are made. Senior posts in the Civil Service are filled by people from a variety of educational backgrounds.
The Civil Service Commissioners have a duty to select on merit. The recruitment pattern is reviewed annually and I am satisfied that the commissioners are doing all that they can to encourage able graduates of universities and polytechnics other than Oxford and Cambridge to apply for the administration trainee scheme.