Little to say for myself

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I say! That's bloody well not fair!

This is great. I heard some people on the radio this morning complaining about it, saying that it was unfair for students from under-resourced state schools, with equal or lower A-level grades, to be preferred to other students with grades achieved at independent and private schools with masses of advantages. They argued it should be based on grades only, otherwise it was unfair.

They want it both ways - they want the privileges associated with an unequal society, but they don't want any of the inequalities used against them.

As far as I can see, it's entirely logical for universities to prefer students who achieved their grades despite the adversity of their surroundings, because it indicates that they are more able/committed than others who made it helped by all the advantages in life.

Imagine the implications. Private education would lose its attraction. Why spend a fortune sending kids to private schools if it disadvantages them compared with the hoi polloi?

What's more, if a school's league table position started to count against its students (because their school was thought to provide a privileged education), maybe that school would stop thinking about churning out the highest possible exam scores, and actually be able to devote time to educating their pupils in the important things in life.

Mind you, if you were to extrapolate this idea too far, schools would start to degrade their standards deliberately in order to improve their deprivation index, so there would either be huge waiting lists at Tower Hamlets Comprehensives from nice families in Islington, or the nicer schools would start introducing headlice and glue-sniffing courses to improve their Oxbridge credentials.

posted by Plig | 14:32 |

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