It’s Official – The ‘Old School Tie’ Network Disadvantages Teesside University Hope

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (31st October 2011) said a damning report issued today by the body that regulates university admissions shows how ‘the old school tie’ network works against the interests of students from areas like Teesside.

Tom said “Today the University and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) has shown that the existing processes that govern university admissions favour the rich. They say the present rules which allow pupils, often helped by their teachers, to apply well in advance of their examinations, gives students and teachers a head start in securing conditional places.”

“This, says UCAS, favours students, their teachers and families who are familiar with the university world and the admission process, and puts those not in this magic circle at a disadvantage.”

“In one damning paragraph UCAS say that – and I quote – ‘The current system also assists pupils whose schools employ tutors who are very familiar with the university applications process, and do not feel intimidated about phoning University admission tutors to plead the case of particular students’”.

“Put simply, they are talking about the fee-paying public schools and the top elite Grammar schools that still exist. These are the schools for the sons and daughters of the wealthy, and the ability of these schools to grease the wheels for their students and their fee paying parents is unparalleled. UCAS are now calling for a level playing field in university admissions and I, on behalf of all those local Teesside college leavers looking for a university place, agree wholeheartedly with them. The old school tie network should not hold them back”.

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