The domination of the country's top jobs by those educated at fee-paying schools must change, said UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall today.
"The report by Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission makes worrying reading and shows that the country is basically run by a chummy club.
"The high percentage of the privately educated among politicians, the judiciary, armed forces and media is not representative of the general population and it is no wonder that the man in the street feels they are out of touch," said Mr Nuttall, the party's Education spokesman.
"This report shows Britain is a deeply elitist country and that must change. It harks back to a much earlier age but life has moved on and social mobility demands more.
"The key lies in improving standards in state schools and it is essential we bring back grammar schools which truly provide a level playing field for all.
"Ambition is vital to success and it can be achieved from whatever background with top class teachers dedicated to their work," said Mr Nuttall, who was himself educated at a state comprehensive school.
"Students from all backgrounds should be educated to the highest standards so that the divide between the state and privately educated is reduced. And instead of pushing virtually all students to go to university it should be for those with the highest grades who can then be more competitive in the jobs market. "
The study analysed the backgrounds of more than 4,000 individuals. It found that more than seven in 10 senior judges, two-thirds of senior armed forces officers, over half of permanent secretaries and senior diplomats, and a third of the England cricket team had attended a fee-paying school. Only 7 per cent of pupils in the UK are educated at independent institutions.
The figures showed similarly high concentrations of graduates from Oxford and Cambridge in influential jobs, including 47 per cent of newspaper columnists, 38 per cent of the House of Lords, and 24 per cent of MPs. In the adult population as a whole, fewer than 1 per cent are Oxford or Cambridge graduates.
"Change will not come overnight but demanding the highest standards from state schools will lead the way," said Mr Nuttall.