Your article (Ministers’ mortgage plans might cease poorer college students in England going to school, 22 February) notes that the plan requires grade 5 in GCSE maths and English to entry a pupil mortgage, and poor youngsters do worse at GCSE exams. The reforms would additionally stop the 5%-6% of scholars with dyslexia who’re prone to fail to attain grade 5 in English, and the 5%-6% of dyscalculics who might not even obtain a move grade in maths, from accessing pupil loans.
It’s well-known that dyslexics can succeed at college, together with Nobel prize-winning scientists corresponding to Carol Greider and politicians corresponding to Michael Heseltine. Profitable dyscalculics are more durable to establish, because the situation isn’t as broadly recognised, however we have now formally examined many who’ve accomplished nicely at college, normally in arts topics.
The Equality Act (2010) states that people with disabilities are entitled to obtain “cheap changes” to help their difficulties. Will cheap changes be made for these college students in order that they can also entry pupil loans? And can provision be made for the suitable diagnostic evaluation?
Prof Brian Butterworth
UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
The federal government’s anticipated response to the Augar overview of upper training provides me actual concern about accessibility. Its proposal to set minimal entry necessities for college students to be eligible for larger training loans will undoubtedly end in individuals from deprived backgrounds being unable to progress to school and on to higher-level programs.
It could be a travesty to return to the elitist days when solely the very rich might afford to go to school. Our society and financial system wants a mixture of higher-level abilities, delivered by individuals from a various vary of backgrounds. That is much more basic as we sort out the post-Covid, post-Brexit financial restoration – with abilities being a central pillar of this.
Widening participation is vital to filling business abilities wants and supporting social mobility. Refusing loans to those that want them will do nice harm – and goes towards the precept of “levelling up”.
Dr Sam Parrett
Group principal and CEO, London and South East Training Group