19th December 2017
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Poorest families fear children will not 'fit in' to private schools, incoming Girls’ School Association president says
The poorest families are not applying for private school bursaries because they fear their children will not fit in, the incoming president of the Girls’ School Association (GSA) has said.
A concern among the most disadvantaged families is that their children would be “out of their depth” and feel “uncomfortable” at a private school so are put off applying for a bursary, according to Gwen Byrom.
She said that merely making more bursaries available is not enough, and schools must do more to understand why the poorest families are not putting their children forward for the fee-assistance.
“Just because a school offers 100 per cent bursaries, it doesn’t necessarily mean that families will be falling over themselves to apply for them,” Mrs Byrom said.
Mrs Byrom, who is also head of Loughborough High School, a fee-paying girls' school in the East Midlands, said that while all the private school bursaries are being filled, more must be done to ensure they are reaching the most disadvantaged children in society.
University admissions would be fairer if students applied after they knew their A-level results
The social mobility charity, The Sutton Trust, says relying on predicted grades is working against talented, disadvantaged applicants.
This summer, almost three-quarters of applicants in the UK failed to achieve the grades forecast by their schools.
But the charity warns that poorer students are more likely to have their grades under-predicted.
Report author Dr Gill Wyness said it was vital that "disadvantaged students are able to play the admissions game on the same terms as their better-off peers".
Under the present admissions system, universities make offers of places based on the grades predicted by teachers.
The Sutton Trust says that this is a system that favours more ambitious, better-informed applicants, from wealthier families and high-achieving schools.
This year, 73% of predicted grades for 18-year-old applicants turned out to be higher than their actual results - but by the time results are received many decisions will already have been made by universities and students about their offers and choices.
Read more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-42401660
13th December 2018
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