It is good news that Bristol’s much-applauded Scholars scheme is encouraging students from a variety of school backgrounds (Bristol University criticised, March 2nd). As universities are increasingly realising (and as the University of Warwick publicly states in its Access Agreement), school sector type ‘does not provide an accurate measure of disadvantage’. Students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds are often given bursary-funded places in independent schools to help their life chances, and it’s right that this is continued into Higher Education by institutions such as Bristol.
We must stop the unhelpful, uninformed and unnecessary assumption, which has become something of a popular myth, that ‘independently educated’ automatically means ‘wealthy’.
Headmaster, The King’s School, Chester
Co-Chair, HMC/GSA Universities Committee