Chris Ramsey responds to reports that Universities should admit teenagers from poorly-performing state schools with lower A-level grades than their privately-educated peers

In an article in the Telegraph, 17/06/13, Chris Ramsey, head of The King’s School, Chester, co-chair of the HMC/GSA Universities Committee responds to reports that top universities should admit teenagers from poorly-performing state schools with lower A-level grades than their privately-educated peers.

In a series of recommendations, Mr Milburn said universities should make greater use of “contextual data” – information on candidates’ school, ethnicity, postcode, family income and level of parental education – during the admissions process. The Government was told to step in to provide more detailed information to universities.

State school entrants increased by 1,464 between 2002 and 2011, it emerged, a rise of 2.6 per cent. But independently-educated teenagers boosted their share by 1,426 – an increase of 7.9 per cent. 

But the report was criticised by leading private schools who branded many of its conclusions “ill-informed scaremongering”.

Chris Ramsey, head of The King’s School, Chester, and higher education spokesman for the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, said: “We all want a fair social mix at university, but above all we want the best students to go to the best university. “No student should be penalised because of the group to which some official has decided he belongs. It is lazy thinking and unworthy of the authors of this report to assume that a ‘better’ ratio of state students will lead to better social mix.”

Click here to read the article © The Telegraph.