Some state-schooled children are unprepared for university because they have been spoon-fed.
This is the opinion of Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and his comments have not been welcomed.
Firstly, Sir Anthony has not commissioned a survey or done any sort of research to support what he is saying. He may well be right in saying that some students are unable to cope but to single out state students is unfair. There will be plenty of children from independent schools who have been spoon-fed too, more so in some instances.
Sir Anthony thinks that state pupils haven’t been given the “freedom to learn”, to organise their own time and become independent. Yes, probably some haven’t but thousands and thousands have. Are we seriously saying that all state-schooled children aren’t up to it? His comments are total tosh and out of touch.
Speaking at a Headmasters’ and Headmistresses Conference (HMC) event in London, Sir Anthony said that new university students were living away from home for the first time, having to organise themselves, and “the attitude of universities, the world over mostly, but not always, is that they fend for themselves.
State, independent or home schooled, children bring a complex mix of emotions and experiences into the university context and some will cope better than others depending on a myriad of other factors.
To say that state kids aren’t prepared is nonsense and just isn’t the case.
Thank heavens we have Geoff Barton at the helm of the Association of School and College Leaders. He has a few words to say in reply to Sir Anthony Seldon and as always, they are professional and reliable.
Students at state schools follow a rigorous academic curriculum and experience a range of sports, arts and enrichment activities to prepare them for life beyond school. They have to learn how to study independently, organise their time and be able to analyse and understand a wide range of texts in many subjects. It is to the credit of state schools that they continue to provide so many opportunities to their students despite a funding crisis caused by government under-investment in education.
Sir Anthony’s comments are unhelpful and damaging as they pit state schools and independent schools against each other and his black and white views of the world are worrying. Obviously he knows all state school educated students in every university.
Our survey said….