Access and participation in the HE Green Paper

Eponymous

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This post casts a critical eye over the proposals for widening participation and fair access in the Higher Education Green Paper.

It succeeds an earlier post – ‘Can we expect a rocket boost for fair access?’ (October 2015) – that discussed what was known of the Government’s intentions prior to publication.

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Publication

BIS published the Green Paper: ‘Fulfilling our potential: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice’ on Friday 6 November.

Fridays are not normally selected for high profile Government announcements.

There were reports that a launch originally scheduled for Thursday 15 October was delayed to coincide with a Prime Ministerial speech:

‘There are suggestions that one factor behind Mr Cameron’s growing focus on widening participation is that, in the wake of the government’s decision to abolish child poverty targets which were being missed, universities are one of the key fields where the Conservatives…

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Closing the curtains on key stage 2 level 6 assessment

Eponymous

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This post provides updated information about trends in Key Stage 2 Level 6 performance.

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Background

Two further datasets have been released since I published a summary of Provisional KS2 Level 6 results for 2015 (August 2015):

  • 2015 static national transition matrices for KS1-2 reading, writing and maths were added to RAISEonline on 29 October.
  • L6 test entries for 2015 and preceding years were included in SFR42/2015, published on 5 November.

This permits further analysis of KS2 L6 attainment and progress.

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L6 test entries

Chart 1 shows annual L6 test entries since 2012.

I had expected that confirmation of the abolition of L6 tests would depress 2015 entries severely across the board. But only in the reading test did entries fall below their 2014 level – and then only slightly.

This dip may have been more attributable to problems with the 2014 test: the drastically lower success…

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Which grammar schools want more pupil premium students?

Eponymous

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I wanted to find out how many of our 163 grammar schools give priority to disadvantaged pupils in their admissions arrangements for academic year 2016/17, and by what means.

This analysis was prompted by a comment made by Secretary of State Nicky Morgan during the Commons debate on her statement of 19 October 2015. The statement explained her decision to approve the expansion of the Weald of Kent Grammar School to a new site in Sevenoaks.

She said:

‘The admissions code, which was changed by this Government, specifically allows grammar schools to give priority to children who are eligible for the pupil premium in their admission arrangements. Half of the grammar school sector has introduced, or intends to consult on adopting, that admissions priority, and I would like more of them to go further.’ (Hansard 19 October 2015, Column 683)

How many schools have actually included such a…

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