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Proportion of working-class students at some top universities lower than a decade ago

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

  2. BigFrankEM

    BigFrankEM Established commenter


    It would be more than a little surprising were the trend to be in the opposite direction.

    Much more than a little surprising.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Need to bring back grammar schools?
  4. tim_dracup2

    tim_dracup2 New commenter

    This new post of mine uses a different indicator - recruitment from low participation neighbourhoods - to the NS-SEC indicator used by the Press Association.

    Unlike NS-SEC, which is being discarded because of inaccuracy, this measure is being retained.

    It tells a somewhat different story about which English Russell Group universities are making most and least progress in recruiting students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Methodologies - not tracking actual people, tracking post codes.

    The schools blame the universities for not showing positive discrimination.

    The universities say they take everyone based on the same grades - it's not their fault that some schools are not elite boarding schools or that some students benefit from private tutoring to enhance their grades. Universities do, to be fair, a lot of outreach work to get those who achieve grades to apply.

    I blame the marketisation and managerialism of the education sector. If you are a student from a poor background whose parents did not attend university then there is a significantly higher chance that your teachers are not in possession of a subject degree and/or a formal teaching qualification. You are more likely to attend a school which has replaced experienced and expensive staff with unqualified or newly qualified teachers and who use teaching assistants and cover supervisors to teach your lessons when recruitment issues are prevalent.

    All students, of all backgrounds, deserve to have all of their lessons taught by trained and qualified teachers who possess a degree in the subject they are teaching. This is a perfectly achievable target. Then come back to the issue about progression rates for students from a poor background.
    Mangleworzle likes this.
  6. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I would imagine that going to university today makes less difference to graduates income than it used to simply because there are more people going and many end up taking what previously would have been non-graduate jobs.

    I would also imagine working class students are probably less likely to take on the debt that a degree entails these days all the more so because there is now a lesser chance of boosting earnings than it would previously.

    So am I surprised that those who can least afford it are reluctant to take on debt for reduced benefit? No.

    I worked in an ordinary school mainly attended by working class pupils and increasingly taught by those people that MrMedia describes, the "careers advice" I heard offered was sometimes cringeworthy. Lower performing schools are the hardest to work in with teachers being held to account for unrealistic targets. Qualified teachers are either leaving or are gravitating towards schools where the intake is more capable of attaining the targets they are given. It's a spiral downwards that has already taken a couple of turns.
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Only if you can guarantee that working class students would get the majority of places there. I don't believe that happened when grammar schools were in their heyday, much less now.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    It's pretty clear that social mobility for working class pupils has decreased since they were closed, as has been shown by fewer going to (good) univerities
  9. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I'd have to see graphs showing what was happening in the 60s, 70s, 80s - and the past decade - to know that was even remotely true. I know that when I went to university in 1976 (from a very large comprehensive school which had replaced a grammar and three secondary mods), record numbers of young adults from the mining villages from which we all came were going to university compared with before comprehensivisation.

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