Kevin Gilmartin, Post 16 Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the call by the Office for Students (OfS) for universities and colleges to work much more closely with schools to improve exam results.
“We fully agree that universities should do more to support disadvantaged young people progress into and through higher education.
“The question is exactly what this comprises. It could take the form of them working more closely with schools and communities to give students a greater insight into higher education and help them navigate the best routes for them.
“What will be important is an understanding of what approaches are effective. As it stands, far too few disadvantaged young people progress to university compared to those from more affluent backgrounds, and this is particularly stark at the most selective institutions.
“Going to university is not the only route available – apprenticeships also provide excellent opportunities – but the gap between rich and poor is a proxy for a deeply unequal society.”