The HMC Chair, Mike Buchanan, pointed out in his welcome speech yesterday at the Annual Conference that 82% of students from Independent Schools go on to attain Firsts or Upper Seconds.
In a recent information evening for Year 11 pupils looking at our Sixth Form, I noticed how much emphasis colleagues and I placed on speaking about Universities. Because of the way that the UK education system is structured, the choices that students make when picking GCSE courses - let alone A Levels - can have a serious impact on the direction that their futures might take. Interestingly, I was being shown around a pretty intuitive software package yesterday that helps students with choice of University courses though it is really aimed at Sixth Formers for whom choices may already be narrowed.
Sadly, the British curriculum leads swiftly to a narrow series of options and it is a great shame that recent reforms at A Level did not seize the opportunity to broaden the curriculum at KS5. As it is, children need to project as far forward as they can to consider at least a University course (often, a career) when in reality, the majority of fifteen, sixteen and seventeen year olds don’t, unsurprisingly, know what they want to do as adults.
Small wonder, then, that young people are becoming increasingly anxious.