Govt must guarantee sixth form places for GCSE students who get the grades

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to provide emergency funding to schools and colleges to provide extra sixth form places for applicants who get the GCSE grades to meet their existing admissions criteria.

With students achieving record GCSE results today, there are fears that some sixth forms will be forced to use “oversubscription criteria” to turn away applicants from other schools, even though they have met the usual entry criteria.

Dr Lee Elliot Major, Professor of Social Mobility at the University of Exeter, has described sixth form admissions as “the Wild West of the education system” and warned about “the prospects of poorer pupils who will not necessarily be backed up by sharp-elbowed parents.”

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said: “No one who has worked so hard during such a difficult year should miss out on a sixth form place because of a lack of funding. For the Government to snatch young people’s futures away like that would be unforgivable.

Daisy Cooper MP

“After all the stress and anxiety they have been through, young people deserve certainty and support. The Government should give them a clear guarantee: if you get the grades, you get the place. And it must back up that guarantee with the extra funding sixth forms need.

“Children, parents and teachers have been let down over and over again by this Conservative Government. Its catch-up funding is so inadequate that its own Education Recovery Adviser resigned over it.

“There is nothing more important than investing in children and young people – and that must include making sure they get the sixth form places they deserve.”

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