16 Aug '13

News Teachers pressured to lie about grades and students unprepared for clearing

This week's research round up includes: how a home computer affects results and data on state school pupils failing to get into top universities

Young people abandon ambitions after poor grades

Around a quarter of young people who left school with poor results believe it will always hold them back, a survey has found.

Trouble concentrating on homework because of family problems was cited by 29% of those that received less than five A* to C GCSE grades. They were also less likely to have access to a computer, the internet or a quiet place to do their schoolwork at home.

One in five of the 2,300 16 to 25-year-olds surveyed by The Prince's Trust charity had "abandoned their ambitions" because of their poor grades and 34% believed they would "end up on benefits" at some point.

Read the full report on The Prince's Trust website.

Private school pupils dominate top universities

Nearly two thirds of indepently-educated children got into the most selective universities in 2010-11, compared to less than a quarter of state school pupils.

Data from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills suggests the chances of students on free-school meals are improving, however. The number going to university rose from 13% to 20% from 2005-06 to 2010-11, although they continue to lag behind the 38% that go from better-off families.

Read more about the figures on BBC News.

Rise in complaints from school staff

A whistleblowing charity is concerned at an increase in the number of teachers calling its confidential helpline to claim they are under pressure to inflate student grades.

Public Concern at Work has has reported an 80% rise in complaints lodged by the education sector over the past 12 months, with a significant chunk calling from academy schools.

Claims pupils were given access to their papers to make corrections after exams had finished, awarded grades for coursework they failed to do and were not quarantined after arriving late for exams were among allegations.

The charity received 111 complaints from the education sector in the first six months of 2012 and 199 in the first six months of 2013.

Read more about the rise in complaints on Education Guardian.

Lack of support for clearing

More than a quarter of students who go to university through clearing feel unprepared, a survey has found.

Some 40% of first-year students told the consumer group Which there had been a lack of information and advice on clearing, with many feeling on their own during the process. More than a third said they had felt pressured to take the first place available.

Of the 390 students polled 10% of those who had gained their place through clearing were dissatisfied with their choice of course, compared to 6% of other students.

Read more about the survey results on Which.

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