Every pupil should rise to fulfil their potential

7th December 2012 at 00:00

I'm not sure that Les Ebdon is fit to hold his post if he believes it is "dreadful snobbery" for schools to be encouraged to send as many pupils as possible to elite universities ("Access tsar condemns 'dreadful snobbery' of elite university focus", 23 November).

Does Professor Ebdon not direct an organisation called the Office for Fair Access? Is not one of its key purposes to help ensure that every teenager rises to their full potential, including the potential to go to an elite university? Is he therefore saying that it is "snobbery" for this potential to be far better realised than at present? If Professor Ebdon is saying these things, then he should hand his job on to someone who believes in fair access to higher education. For it is not remotely being achieved at present, and the only impact of his remarks will be on schools with weak traditions of sending pupils to "elite universities", since those with strong university traditions simply - and rightly - take it for granted that they should seek to maximise the number of top university places for their most able students.

Andrew Adonis, Former minister for education.

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