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To think - yes, universities should take state school applicants with lower grades

(438 Posts)
Lemiserableoldgimmer Sat 07-Jun-14 14:41:29

.. than applicants from private and grammar schools, on the basis that this new research suggests that as a group, state school pupils appear to be more able than private school applicants with identical A level and GCSE grades. More likely to get a good degree, less likely to drop out.


What do you think?

Andrewofgg Sat 07-Jun-14 14:44:50

YABU. Admission to university should be on results for the following year - everyone taking a gap year - and the identity and type of the school should be hidden behind a code-number.

No prejudice, no social engineering.

After all, A-levels are marked blind!

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 07-Jun-14 14:46:01

Some already do, don't they? In fact I think some do it a lot more subtly than 'state vs private'. Whether it's something that should be mandated, I'm less sure.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 07-Jun-14 14:46:42


Children from states schools are capable of getting top grades and always have done.

It is patronising and fuels the concept that the poorer (or indeed just state educated) are somewhere "other".

JustALittleBitLost Sat 07-Jun-14 14:46:51

YANBU - I teach at a RG university, on an oversubscribed course, and this research comes to no surprise to me or my colleagues.

JustALittleBitLost Sat 07-Jun-14 14:47:46

Do agree that it's a bit more complicated than state vs private though.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 07-Jun-14 14:49:33

YABU and I say this as someone who went to state school.

Even if it was changed, there would be two major flaws;

1.) People would tutor the hell out of their state school children.

2.) If you positively discriminate against state school applications, there is a chance that they may not cope with the demands of the course.

zazzie Sat 07-Jun-14 14:49:53

I grades I needed to get were lower than the standard ones and that was 25 years ago. Some universities have always done it.

soverylucky Sat 07-Jun-14 14:51:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zazzie Sat 07-Jun-14 14:51:55

Although I did go to a state school where very few went to university. It probably didn't apply to all state schools.

Thenapoleonofcrime Sat 07-Jun-14 14:51:56

Our university also knows this, it confirms our internal data that once with us, our state school pupils do marginally better.

I would be in favour of a small modest grade decrease for those from the lower achieving state schools, say AAB rather than three AAA or whatever. Nothing drastic, but a bit of flexibility.

I don't think it is 'othering' to suggest state school comp. pupils traditionally don't get quite as many high grades as those who are in grammar or private schools, that's why people pay for them to go elsewhere or why 10 pupils apply for every place.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Sat 07-Jun-14 14:52:35

Well... just to be awkward - logically, if state school pupils are being found to do better, surely they should be asked for higher A level grades?

But going with the original argument, I wonder if it would make teaching difficult if people are all starting a course with very different grades (aka knowledge/understanding) to their neighbour.

eddielizzard Sat 07-Jun-14 14:54:36


there should be no distinction. if you get good enough grades, you get in.

simple as that.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sat 07-Jun-14 14:54:42

So it's reasonable that more less able privately educated children get places on university courses?

Because this is what the research seems to suggest is happening - that a level grades are not an accurate reflection of a person's ability and potential.

There is social engineering going on already by the way. Take two children of similar ability, spend twice as much on one child's education as on the others, and then reward the child who does best (usually the one who has had more teaching hours - the expensively educated one) with a university place.

SanityClause Sat 07-Jun-14 14:55:08

Isn't this done already on a case by case basis?

TrueGent Sat 07-Jun-14 14:55:14

What incentives would this create? Schools getting the top grades for their pupils would be penalised (through fewer places at university) and those doing less well would be encouraged to maintain that same level of mediocrity.

Ask yourselves - is this how China, South Korea, Singapore etc educate their children?

Typical flabby, self-loathing, liberal, mushy rubbish whereby all must have prizes and sports days and other competitions are 'unfair' on children.

brokenhearted55a Sat 07-Jun-14 14:56:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sat 07-Jun-14 14:56:25

Eddie - so sought after university places shouldn't go first to the most able and those with the most potential, they should go to those who've had the most expensive primary and secondary education?

mrsruffallo Sat 07-Jun-14 14:57:47

YANBU. State schools teach children to use their initiative.

Lemiserableoldgimmer Sat 07-Jun-14 14:57:59

Broken - they don't have to differentiate. According to this research A state school pupil with a grade C is probably just as able and hard working as a private school student with a grade B.

SoonToBeSix Sat 07-Jun-14 14:58:14

Sovery I know you didn't mean it to sound patronising but many state school children do D of E my own dd included.

mrsruffallo Sat 07-Jun-14 14:59:29

YANBU I think in this age of fairly poor social mobility in England, it would be the right thing to do

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 07-Jun-14 15:00:20

It's based on grades, which the privately educated children often have. Going to an RG university isn't the be all and end all.

Plenty of state school pupils are tutored like you wouldn't believe, some are pretty much only state schools in name. My brother and I attended schools like that. Though my former school is not of the standing it once was.

Plenty of state school teachers put in extra hours doing revision classes for their pupils.

Yes a child can have a duff morning and cock up their exam thereby getting a B not an A, but that could happen to any child.

How is it fair to demand AAA off some and accept others with CCD?

brokenhearted55a Sat 07-Jun-14 15:01:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpottieDottie Sat 07-Jun-14 15:01:15

I'm not convinced it's fair really, I mean if a state school pupil with 3 x C at A level gets a place at a top university then what message is that sending out to the AAA state school pupil who has worked really hard to get those grades?

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