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AoC responds to Teach First report

19 June 2019

Today, Teach First published a new report – ‘Impossible? Beyond access: getting to university and succeeding there’. David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Today’s report from Teach First highlights the enormous inequalities in access to higher education for young people which have not been addressed despite strenuous efforts and investment over many years. The causes and the solutions are complex and the report itself recommends some sensible approaches. For instance the report proposes that careers advice needs to be improved to help young people to choose the right path. The Association of Colleges has long been calling for this. “The broader issue is that attending a typical three year residential course at a university may not be the right path for all people. I would like to see more emphasis placed on the diversity of offers which colleges specialise in - providing technical and professional alternatives to the traditional academic degree. These enable students to study closer to home with lower tuition fees, often with smaller class sizes enabling more individual tuition. “Today’s Teach First report offers a sensible recommendation to the Government to attract the best graduates to teaching. More needs to be done to ensure that schools and colleges have the best teachers available, particularly in subjects such as maths. Forgiving at least a proportion of student loans’, as recommended in the report, is one step towards this.”