Schools and Universities Struggling with Poorer Pupils

07 08.14

Secondary schools fail poor pupils

A new report has found that bright children from poor backgrounds are failed by secondary schools, and early promise shown by the highest achievers from disadvantaged backgrounds is lost at secondary schools. The report, published by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission found that of 8,000 disadvantaged students who achieved level 5 in English and Maths at age 11, only 900 go on to attend an elite university. Alan Milburn, who chairs the Commission, said ‘if Britain’s sluggish rates of social mobility are to improve, the poorest, brightest children must be helped to navigate the secondary school maze’.


UK universities spend £140 extra on poorer students

report from the Office of Fair Access has revealed that following the trebling of tuition fees to £9,000, UK universities have spent an extra £140m trying to attract poorer students. The money was split into £61.5m on outreach, £30m on financial aid, and £48m on scholarship programmes. Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access, said: ‘the introduction of higher fees in 2012-13 made it more important than ever that universities and colleges work to remove the barriers to participation that may prevent talented students from entering and succeeding in higher education’. He added that the progress in increasing the number of poorer students attending highly selective universities has remained flat despite the efforts of universities, and urged faster change.