Russell Group response to Sutton Trust Report, “Wasted Talent?”
13 June 2008
In response to the Sutton Trust report, “Wasted Talent?”, which shows that, once prior achievement at school is considered, disadvantaged pupils have similar rates of entry into university as their peers; the Director General of the Russell Group, Dr Wendy Piatt, said:
“This report adds to the overwhelming body of evidence showing that educational attainment is the most important indicator of whether a student will go on to higher education, regardless of socio-economic background. If a child from a lower socio-economic group succeeds in overcoming the barriers s/he faces and achieves good grades at A Level (or the equivalent), then s/he is highly likely to go to university.
“The Sutton Trust has also recently highlighted how pupils from under-represented backgrounds often receive too little information and guidance at school about applying to university and about the benefits of attending “prestigious” institutions. So The Russell Group has now decided to hold special conferences to inform teachers and advisors about key aspects of our universities, particularly their application processes. It is essential to ensure that students make informed choices about applying to the universities which are best for them.”
1. The Sutton Trust report “Wasted Talent” is available from here: www.suttontrust.com. Earlier reports and research into the guidance given to school pupils on higher education are also available from this site.