'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Simon Hughes has got a lot of work on his hands.

I came across this article the other day. It's a brilliant analysis of just how much outreach work Oxford University does amongst the top public schools - in contrast to everywhere else. It's quite an eye opener. Here's just a sample...

'You only need to look at what constitutes ‘outreach’ at these institutions to see the disdain they have for the idea they should be more open and inclusive. In 2008 and 2009, Oxford targeted 770 of its ‘outreach’ events at private schools, including 12 events for Marlborough College, 11 for St. Paul’s and 9 for Eton. Even Westminster School, who make up 2% of the entire undergraduate intake at Oxford, were blessed with 5 ‘outreach’ events. How many events have taken place at the 24 secondary schools in Sandwell, where Oxford has not accepted a single pupil from for the last five years? Or in Knowsley or Hartlepool?'

Yes, I know it's written by David Lammy and he's a Labour MP and yes I know it's on the Labour teachers website. But let's put party issues to one side. It's well researched, insightful and on the money. And it demonstrates the mountain many pupils have to climb in order to access the best universities. Everyone should read it.

And to make matters worse...

This article reveals that the Office for Fair Access is having to take on extra staff to judge the huge number of Univesties who wish to charge more than 'standard tuition fees'. This will take it on from 3 fulltime and 2 part time staff - to five full time and four part time people.

This still doesn't sound to me like an organisation geared up to policing every University in the land who wishes to charge over £6000 in fees. Plus they have to do it all by July 11...

Simon Hughes has a mountain to climb to sort this out. How can we help him?

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