Sunday, 19 February 2012

The debate about fair access

The debate about fair access is raging in light of the appointment of Professor Les Ebdon to head up OFFA. Today's Sunday Telegraph article on the subject quotes from this blog and the case of a Berkhamsted School pupil:
'While the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference of private schools might publicly claim there is no evidence of across-the-board discrimination, privately, some heads feel that it may play a part in cases where well-qualified students are rejected by every university they apply for.

One such student, Prina Shah, 18, from City of London School for Girls, was turned down to study medicine last year by every university she chose despite being awarded an exemplary four A*s at A-level.

According to Mark Steed, the principal of Berkhamsted School, in Hertfordshire, discrimination does “apparently exist” against independent school pupils. “Take the case of one Berkhamsted pupil last year,” he says.

“She had a perfect academic record: 10 A*s at GCSE and was predicted A*A*A* at A-level. She was rejected by four out of five universities.

“Now I can understand how someone with such an academic record could fail to gain a place at Oxford — the Oxbridge colleges still believe in additional testing and interviews.

"However I am at a loss as to how she could fail to gain an offer to study English from Leeds University on the basis of her UCAS form alone. How many A*A*A* applicants does the English Faculty at Leeds get each year? What can justify their standard offer of AAB, if they can reject A*A*A* candidates without an interview?”'

For the full article see: 'Private schools fear 'social engineering' in university admissions' Sunday Telegraph 19/02/2012

For the original blogpost: 'Teaching our young people that discrimination is OK.' 05/04/2011

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