ISC chair states he was misrepresented in Oxbridge lobbying furore

The chairman of the Unbiased Schools Council (ISC) has claimed reviews he gave in a newspaper interview about unbiased universities lobbying Oxbridge, which sparked a furious backlash from universities, MPs and condition schools, were being misrepresented.

Barnaby Lenon, a former headmaster of Harrow, suggested independent faculties to compose to elite universities on behalf of college students that missed the entry necessities “straight away” in advance of outcomes day, breaching Ofqual direction.

The ISC signifies close to 1,300 impartial educational facilities.

Some anticipate a surge in A and A* grades this year soon after test boards declared ideas for instructor-assessed grades following a bumper crop of leading grades in 2020, up 10 to 12% compared to 2019.

Lenon told the Sunday Occasions: “If you have a pupil who requires a few As and you know they have obtained two As and a B, strategy that college and say: ‘This student is likely to fall a quality, but they have skipped 4 months of college for the reason that of Covid or a parent died, so be sure to contemplate them.’

“If I was a head… I may well stop quick of declaring what the correct grades are, but I would want to start having my two pennyworth in now fairly than waiting around till August 10, when it can be much too late.”

In a statement launched by the ISC, Lenon explained the post about lobbying Oxbridge “misrepresented my remarks on pupils who may well have missed university quality requirements”.

He reported: “Any pupil – in any college – who has experienced particular hardship by the Covid period by means of bereavement or ailment or other exclusive conditions must be pretty dealt with.”

“A several schools in the condition sector and the independent sector will be putting the situation for a little selection of folks so that these specific situations can be taken into account.

Any pupil – in any school – who has endured unique hardship through the Covid interval as a result of bereavement or disease or other special circumstances should be pretty dealt with – Barnaby Lenon, Unbiased Educational institutions Council

“It is completely typical for educational facilities to ship critical additional info to universities that was not contained in the UCAS reference, in both equally point out and impartial sectors. In truth some universities have exclusively requested this information from colleges.

“The ISC is not aware of huge or amplified figures of unique situations this 12 months but there will normally be a number of pupils who have particular challenges to overcome that may impact their grades and educational facilities will want to notify universities to this without having breaking any of the policies in excess of disclosure of grades. It is not a sector-certain issue.”

University reaction

The Sunday Times documented university figures that assert to have gained letters outlining extenuating situation from impartial colleges.

The main govt of UCAS, Clare Marchant, sought to dispel problems about the lobbying of college admissions departments and Oxbridge colleges in the operate-up to benefits day on 10 August.

“I do not know a college that’ll have any time for that at all,” Marchant instructed an on the internet audience of sector gurus.

College specialists and admissions experts function as we do – for a fair and clear admissions services. And they won’t have any truck with [lobbying] at all – Clare Marchant, UCAS

“So it doesn’t worry me […] You know, university gurus and admissions industry experts work as we do – for a honest and transparent admissions services.

“And they won’t have any truck with that at all.”

The furore came following a survey of extra than 3,000 academics discovered that a substantial minority have been “approached or pressured” by mothers and fathers about grades – 23% of academics at non-public educational institutions, in contrast to 14% of those functioning in a point out university.

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