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Universities to now favour applications from state educated children

(11 Posts)
lottysmum Fri 28-Mar-14 18:59:50

There seems to be a definite move against money buying education at the moment with an article in the press today stating that Universities are now preferring applications from children within the state school system ....just wonder how the parents who have paid £90,000 plus for their child's private school fee's will feel and react when preference is given to the children who have had free education .....I am sure all the places will be offered on a merit basis to children who meet the given criteria but it no longer seems to matter whether you are are state or privately educated ...

TessDurbeyfield Fri 28-Mar-14 19:03:00


meditrina Fri 28-Mar-14 19:10:38

Private 6th forms represent about 20% of all sixth formers.

So, no the parents of private school applicants haven't all been paying for years.

Also, those who move may be those who have not got the grades to continue in their schools (state schools have no discretion for those who do not make the published required grades).

It's not a clear cut picture.

givemeaclue Fri 28-Mar-14 19:20:39

Some people at state schools will invest heavily in tutoring this is what happens at my dns school, it is a great school but most of the very middle class children attending have tutors as well.
It is c complex situation and the state school children are only the preferable option where they have the same grades as the child from independent school. The independent school child is more likely to have better grades so in practice the pref doesn't work.

meditrina Fri 28-Mar-14 19:28:13

Also, it's wrong to assume that everyone sees education as utilitarian (ie all about securing examination grades and/or future courses). Some are happy with wherever their child ends up, and care more about the nature of the journey.

Clobbered Fri 28-Mar-14 19:30:38

The top universities will always want the top candidates, no matter where they come from.

JaneinReading Fri 28-Mar-14 19:32:32

The universities have always given a bit of a preference to the AAB student from the sink comp where everyone gets Cs and that has not had a major impact. Bar a few exceptions the very academic private schools our children are at have not noticed any decline in where children are able to get into. I still think the advantage conferred by paying fees across a wide range of areas including a holistic education for life, hobbies, ambience and future careers stacks lots of things in the favour of a private education. I don't feel I am paying fees which will result in a reduction in the chances of my children getting to good universities so far.

Also the changed guidance is not as simple as state/private. It is saying if your state school is useless then you will be favoured. if it is a good comp or grammar you won't get an advantage at all. So the only way to play that new game would be to put your child in a comp with appalling A level results and who wants to risk that?

HolidayCriminal Fri 28-Mar-14 19:39:10

well, yeah, that's just it, Most Uni applicants from state schools don't come from a "sink comp". confused

I thought the application boost for people from very strongly under performing schools had existed for a long time.

AnAcademic Fri 28-Mar-14 20:00:09

Do you have a link?

I have been an admissions tutor for a very highly sought after course at a prestigious university for over a decade as has DH (I appreciate that having said this I will now inevitably litter my posts with spelling errors etc!) I would be stunned if there were a preference in the crude way you suggest. It would be absurd. E.g.

Child A - 2 degree-educated parents with professional careers. The parents purchase an expensive house in the catchment of a well-regarded state school. One-parent goes part time to support child after school They have enough money to spend on private tutoring, music lessons, 'educational' trips etc. Child state educated.

Child B - started in the same way as child A but was horribly bullied at school, so the parents decide to go full-time, cut the extras and send the child to the private school with the good pastoral reputation.

Child C - Refugee family, very low household income, parents speak very little English. Wins scholarship to private school and this is topped up with a large bursary. Works exceptionally hard but has very little academic or financial support from home

It would be ridiculous to prefer Child A over B or C. There are loads of 'child A' applicants to our course, I imagine quite a few Bs and I have seen several Cs (or similar).

Rather than a simplistic state v private we have increasingly detailed data about the school background and the performance of that child against the performance of others at that school. We also have data that is designed to highlight other forms of disadvantage e.g. on the basis of postcode or time spent in care. It is certainly the case that a child who has not performed well by the standard of their school will find it difficult to obtain a place on our course, even if a child with the same grades from a more difficult school does get a place. We do not make simplistic assumptions from the sector the school is in.

What is difficult is measuring the home advantage a 'Child A' has against another child from the same school without the home support and advantages. A preference for state over private will often simply work to advantage 'child A' and do very little to address the disadvantage that pupils with a more difficult home environment face.

lottysmum Fri 28-Mar-14 20:28:03

Will try and find link in coffee shop earlier today .....

lottysmum Fri 28-Mar-14 20:32:50

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