It’s graduation season and across the country students are leaving the realm of education behind, dressed in flowing black robes. For those graduating from a top university, it is likely to be one of the proudest days of their lives.
However, recent research may put a damper on the celebrations as it has been revealed that a child’s background can be a bigger deciding factor than their academic ability in how likely they are to get into top universities. A study suggests that around 2000 of the brightest but poorest children miss out on places at top universities. Even the highest performers may lose out to less-able but better-off pupils. Labour MP Alan Milburn claims we are “wasting young talent on an industrial scale.”
Disadvantage within the education systems across Britain has been widely examined and criticised in recent years. There has been much concern over the gap between deprived and better-off children, which can often become further and further exacerbated as they make their way through the schooling system.
While the problem has been identified, a solution has not.
It has been asserted that the education we receive in the first five years of our life is vitally important in our later academic achievement. A focus on preschool education, therefore, is an excellent way to develop children’s educational skills from the beginning allowing them an advantage in later life, possibly allowing them to attend a top university.
What do you think? How are we best able to eliminate such disadvantage in our schooling system to ensure children get to the universities they deserve?
-Image courtesy of Richard Lee (https://www.flickr.com/photos/70109407@N00/)