This morning, Rupert Murdoch brought up the disparity, tweeting:  “No wonder China leading in medals while US and UK mainly teach competitive sport a bad thing. How may champions state school background?”

Conservative peer Lord Moynihan said the disproportion of athletes from public schools on the British Olympic team is “wholly unacceptable”, calling it as “one of the worst statistics in British sport”.

50 per cent of the medals brought home by Team GB during the last Olympics were won by privately educated, whereas only seven per cent of the population is privately schooled.

Moynihan said that the rest of the population should be given a fair chance.

“There is so much talent out there in the 93 per cent which should be identified and developed and given equal opportunity through a sports policy that reaches out to able-bodied and disabled children whatever their background,” he said.

The Tory peer went on to highlight football as an example of a sport in which state schools excel.

 “Football is different, it is an interesting example. The balance of professional football is that around seven per cent of players come from the independent sector, which is an absolute mirror image of society,” he said.

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