EDUCATION MATTERS: Law Test 'Another Hurdle for Students'

The Birmingham Post (England), January 31, 2005 | Go to article overview

EDUCATION MATTERS: Law Test 'Another Hurdle for Students'


Byline: Adam Aspinall

Hundreds of students from across the West Midlands find out if they have passed the controversial new-law admission test for university today.

The LNat test has been employed by nine leading Universities and its introduction was co-ordinated by the University of Birmingham's School of Law in November 2004.

The test is designed to tease out the best applicants and is part of the response to the glut of school-leavers with top Alevel grades - but there are fears it may further hinder pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Nigel Pitchford, Head of Law at Cadbury College in Birmingham, believes the new tests discriminate against the type of pupil who attend his sixth form.

He said: 'I'm very much against it as an additional hurdle for our students, given the sort of students we typically get on Educational Maintenance Grants and from disadvantaged backgrounds.

'My view is that colleges, who are putting pupils forward, do not realise how hard these tests can be. I had a go at it myself and found it very difficult. I think they have rushed it through, I thought it was horrendous. Only three or four out of 50 have had a go because it has put them off applying.

'We think it is basically contradictory of Birmingham University to run their A to B scheme and yet they are putting up boundaries and putting our kids off. Especially those from ethnic minorities.' Mr Pitchford's comments come after a recent report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) claimed teenagers from welloff backgrounds are several times more likely to go to university than those from the most deprived areas. …

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