It calls on the UK to adopt a scheme based on one in the US, which would allow
the most able GCSE pupils at disadvantaged schools to be selected for access
programmes at elite universities.
They would be guaranteed a place at the university once they had successfully
completed it. A trial of the scheme at Leeds and Exeter universities will be
announced this year. A report for the Business Innovations and Skills
Department and the education charity the Sutton Trust reveals an imbalance
between the number of state and independent school leavers at Britain’s 13
most selective universities.
It says that if places in the top 500 courses were awarded on academic
qualifications alone, a further 4,500 state school leavers would be
enrolled. It argues that thousands of state pupils do not apply for the
prestigious courses, sparking claims that teachers have too low aspirations
for their pupils. “Many highly able pupils … wrongly perceive the
most prestigious universities as ‘not for the likes of us’ and often lack
the support and guidance to overcome this misconception,” said Sir
Peter Lampl, the chairman of the Sutton Trust.
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