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EDUCATION MATTERS: We can do this without coaching; Erdington has the lowest rate of pupils going on to higher education at 13 per cent. Sutton Coldfield the highest rate at 50 per cent. Adam Aspinall spoke to the leading sixth forms.

Byline: Adam Aspinall

Josiah Mason Sixth Form College, Erdington Andy Collins, Head of Careers

'Not many students apply for law and most go local. One guy has already been offered a place at Birmingham.

'We have had the usual number of applicants this year and some had to register for the LNat. They say the coaching isn't necessary and we seem to have got one through without any this year so I don't think it will put them off because lets face it, students can get private coaching for anything these days.

'Our students are from backgrounds that don't use private coaching but that hasn't put them off in the past. We advise our students and pupils to do the test on-line and we do a lot of extra work with them anyway. Its about how you approach them rather than your actual knowledge.'

Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls Donna Lodge, Head of Law

'They have had a go at the test on-line and we always encourage them to do work experience in a law firm before they go to university.

'I don't think we have got to give them anymore coaching.

'We are planning to introduce an A-Level in critical thinking next year. This will help them puzzle out the logic in their assessment tests and civil service entry tests.

It would be an additional extra for about one hour a week.

'In truth I don't know if the LNats are biased. It was always the way that people from less advantaged backgrounds would not go to university but I don't think there is enough information on the LNats yet to see if they are having that kind of effect.'
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 31, 2005
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