The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) has today welcomed the UCAS proposal for a review of the university admissions process. In a statement, HMC said:
HMC welcomes the debate on radical change in the system of UK university admissions. Many of our members will sympathise with the suggested move towards a post-qualification system of admissions but will also be aware of the profound effects such a change may have on the whole structure of school education for older teenagers.
We intend to take a full and active part in the debate. At this stage we would emphasise that:
Any new system must work in the interests of students, not the results of administrative convenience for universities
Any change should be considered in the context of an overall review of post-16 qualifications and how a full and appropriate programme of study can be fitted into the time available
Change should involve a serious effort to review and improve the volume, quality and reliability of assessment for these age-groups.
The importance of the wider educational opportunities offered by school sixth forms – including cultural, community and sporting opportunities - should be given their full weight: schools are not exam factories.
The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference represents more than 250 leading co-educational and single-sex independent schools in the UK. More than 190,000 pupils are educated at HMC schools, the vast majority of whom go on to higher education.