Sifting through all the data on retention and attainment of our A-Level cohort last year and I'm beginning to think the key problem is still 'helping' them choose the right course. The patterns of in year drop out seem to indicate they stick with choice past induction then when they realise the course is really like their teachers have been explaining they want to drop or switch course. When we've interview under performers they all end up saying the course wasn't what they thought. But they all claim in enrolment to have read the course information! I was reading Prof. Nick Foskett's excellent book "Choosing Futures". His research confirms my fears, students choose from family pressures and according to fashions. When they say they have read the information it is only, he claims, to post-hoc rationalise their prior choices. I came across an interesting service/tool from a company called Options Education Ltd. (www.options-ed.co.uk). Has anyone used them? What do you think?