Students from independent schools may more frequently achieve higher grades than their actual offer

In response to claims by the Times Higher Education, 21/02/13 that state school pupils 'get easier access to top universities', Chris Ramsey, Co-Chair of the HMC/GSA Universities Committee and Head of The King’s School, Chester said:

"Interpretation of these figures should be cautious. Effect does not prove cause. For example, students from independent schools may more frequently achieve higher grades than their actual offer.  Or they may apply successfully for more demanding subjects. More of them may be applying for courses with higher requirements – and meeting them."

"But if they have systematically been asked for higher grades, that is unjustifiable as a blanket policy. There may always be reasons for an individual student to be given a lower – or higher – offer than that advertised publicly, but a policy which treated students as simply members of a group would be entirely wrong and should be stopped. At the very least, these findings require further investigation."