ASCL responds to UCAS report ‘Reimagining UK Admissions’

21/04/2021
Kevin Gilmartin, Post 16 Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the publication of the UCAS report ‘Reimagining UK Admissions’, outlining the UCAS position on admissions reform.
 
Commenting on the publication of the UCAS report ‘Reimagining UK Admissions’, outlining the UCAS position on admissions reform, Kevin Gilmartin, Post 16 Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: 

Predicted grades have been a thorny issue for many years and we welcome the fresh thinking on the subject.
 
“We are gauging opinion among our members about the proposals, set out in a current government consultation, but there is early support for the suggestion to replace the current system of university offers based on predicted grades with a model such as that proposed by UCAS, whereby offers would be made after A-level results day on the basis of actual grades.
 
“There are potential benefits to this approach, particularly for disadvantaged students who often achieve better results than they’d expected. However, this could necessitate major changes to the process and timing of applying to and starting university, and we need to be confident that this disruption would achieve its desired aim before going ahead. 
 
“Schools and colleges already play a key role at the point where students receive their results in terms of offering support and guidance to those who have and have not attained the grades they required and guiding those who need it through the clearing system. However the extent of support needed from school and college staff may be even greater than at present, in a model such as the one backed by UCAS, and this needs further exploration.
 
“Whatever approach is ultimately adopted, it is clear that the expertise and knowledge offered by teachers will be even more important for students at the point where they make a key decision about moving into higher education
.”