click above to browse
through the current issue





Want to see your child's
work in print? The winner
will receive a �25 book voucher. Email: cluedup@edsup.co.uk

PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN SHOULD LEARN ABOUT VALUE OF HIGHER EDUCATION


Out of 88,000 children who were labelled as high achievers when they left their state primary school only 50,000 were deemed to be in that category at the age of 16 

Research from Stafford University earlier this year showed that few students know about the possibility of financial support on offer at university. This has been endorsed by the findings of a recent report commissioned by the Sutton Trust based on children who started secondary school in 1997. They have discovered that out of 88,000 children who were labelled as high achievers when they left their state primary school only 50,000 were deemed to be in that category at the age of 16. However, many of those who failed to go on to higher education were the least privileged pupils. 

Some schools are content to raise overall standards while failing to stretch the more academically gifted 

There was a positive message to come out of this research. Poorer children who went on to take A levels were just as likely to enter university as their more advantaged peers. The importance of inspiring students to embark on these A level courses appears vital. BBC News quotes Dr Lee Elliot Major, the research director of the Sutton Trust: “The study showed there were significant numbers of bright young people with academic potential who do not progress to university.” This research begs the question – what happens in the first five years of secondary education to cause this decline? Shadow Universities Secretary, David Willets, says the report only serves to confirm his worst fears: “Bright children from poorer backgrounds are being failed by the education system. It is a shocking waste of talent.” 

These sentiments seem to be endorsed by John Stannard, the National Champion for the Young Gifted and Talented Programme, who warned that some schools are content to raise overall standards while failing to stretch the more academically gifted. Summarising all these findings, Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, concluded that this is “a further reminder that support and guidance about higher education needs to start early on at primary school . . . so that no young person loses out.” 

 

Useful links: 

The Sutton Trust www.suttontrust.com

 Young Gifted and Talented Programme www.ygt.dcsf.gov.uk