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Labour will scrap predicted grades to make university admissions fairer Labour will scrap predicted grades to make university admissions fairer
(about 4 hours later)
Hundreds of thousands of students will receive their A-level results on Thursday. It is the end product of two years of hard work, and many will be hoping it is also the start of their next educational journey.Hundreds of thousands of students will receive their A-level results on Thursday. It is the end product of two years of hard work, and many will be hoping it is also the start of their next educational journey.
Unfortunately, not all of them will have a fair chance to take that next step. Our higher education admissions process is neither fair nor effective.Unfortunately, not all of them will have a fair chance to take that next step. Our higher education admissions process is neither fair nor effective.
Labour wants universities to offer places after exam results
That is why the next Labour government will scrap predicted grades and introduce post-qualification admissions (PQA). This means that students will apply for higher education courses after they receive their exam results. It will make our higher education system fairer, giving all students the chance to reach their potential regardless of their background, instead of a system that reinforces privilege and inequality.That is why the next Labour government will scrap predicted grades and introduce post-qualification admissions (PQA). This means that students will apply for higher education courses after they receive their exam results. It will make our higher education system fairer, giving all students the chance to reach their potential regardless of their background, instead of a system that reinforces privilege and inequality.
Since the early 1980s, higher education places in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have been offered to students based on predicted grades. Recent evidence has shown that the overwhelming majority of these predicted grades are inaccurate, with only 16% of applicants receiving their forecast A-level results. This is a system that is unfit for purpose.Since the early 1980s, higher education places in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have been offered to students based on predicted grades. Recent evidence has shown that the overwhelming majority of these predicted grades are inaccurate, with only 16% of applicants receiving their forecast A-level results. This is a system that is unfit for purpose.
Cut tuition fees and you shut the door to poor students | Anne-Marie Canning
Underestimating grades has serious consequences for a student’s choice of university, and their future. Students who are highly able but whose grades are underpredicted are unlikely to apply to the most selective universities. Their options, therefore, are unfairly limited – and far too many are held back from reaching their full potential.Underestimating grades has serious consequences for a student’s choice of university, and their future. Students who are highly able but whose grades are underpredicted are unlikely to apply to the most selective universities. Their options, therefore, are unfairly limited – and far too many are held back from reaching their full potential.
This unfairness is not random and it is certainly not equally felt by all students. Errors in grade prediction hit working-class students particularly hard, because students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to have their grades underpredicted. In its current form, our higher education admissions system is a barrier to students’ success instead of supporting them.This unfairness is not random and it is certainly not equally felt by all students. Errors in grade prediction hit working-class students particularly hard, because students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to have their grades underpredicted. In its current form, our higher education admissions system is a barrier to students’ success instead of supporting them.
The Sutton Trust found that almost 3,000 disadvantaged, high-achieving students have had their grades underpredicted. Working-class students have already borne the brunt of the Tories’ cuts losing their educational maintenance allowance in England and university grants, quite apart from the trebling of university tuition fees.The Sutton Trust found that almost 3,000 disadvantaged, high-achieving students have had their grades underpredicted. Working-class students have already borne the brunt of the Tories’ cuts losing their educational maintenance allowance in England and university grants, quite apart from the trebling of university tuition fees.
Cut tuition fees and you shut the door to poor students | Anne-Marie Canning
Our admissions system should be a vehicle for justice, but it is failing working-class students, especially those who are the first in their family to go to university. Working-class students more often lack the advice, guidance and support needed to navigate the tricky application process, whereas their wealthy peers at top public schools have admissions tutors to help their students game the system. There is similar evidence that the system works against ethnic minority applicants too.Our admissions system should be a vehicle for justice, but it is failing working-class students, especially those who are the first in their family to go to university. Working-class students more often lack the advice, guidance and support needed to navigate the tricky application process, whereas their wealthy peers at top public schools have admissions tutors to help their students game the system. There is similar evidence that the system works against ethnic minority applicants too.
The current system of predicted grades has also led to the rise of unconditional offers, and “conditional-unconditional” offers, where an offer is only made unconditional if a student makes that university their firm choice. While some unconditional offers may be justified, it is clear that they too add to the inequality we see in the opportunities that are available to students from different backgrounds.The current system of predicted grades has also led to the rise of unconditional offers, and “conditional-unconditional” offers, where an offer is only made unconditional if a student makes that university their firm choice. While some unconditional offers may be justified, it is clear that they too add to the inequality we see in the opportunities that are available to students from different backgrounds.
Don’t blame parents for wanting the best for their kids. Change the private school system instead | Sonia Sodha
Our education system must work for students and it must be driven by fairness, not market forces. Scrapping predicted grades and introducing post-qualification admissions will bring England in line with the rest of the world. As it stands, it is the only country with over a million students where a pre-qualification system is used.Our education system must work for students and it must be driven by fairness, not market forces. Scrapping predicted grades and introducing post-qualification admissions will bring England in line with the rest of the world. As it stands, it is the only country with over a million students where a pre-qualification system is used.
Reforming admissions is a key part of our plan to transform higher education to make it genuinely accessible to all. This includes restoring the educational maintenance allowance and maintenance grants in England, as well as scrapping tuition fees for both college and universities.Reforming admissions is a key part of our plan to transform higher education to make it genuinely accessible to all. This includes restoring the educational maintenance allowance and maintenance grants in England, as well as scrapping tuition fees for both college and universities.
Only the Labour party is committed to making education – from the early years to lifelong learning – both free and genuinely accessible to all.Only the Labour party is committed to making education – from the early years to lifelong learning – both free and genuinely accessible to all.
• Angela Rayner is Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne and shadow education secretary• Angela Rayner is Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne and shadow education secretary
Higher educationHigher education
OpinionOpinion
A-levelsA-levels
LabourLabour
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
StudentsStudents
CollegesColleges
Further educationFurther education
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