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Guidance sought

Schools need more help with pupils’ personal statements, says Sutton Trust.

Universities should be more transparent about how they evaluate personal statements to ensure state-school pupils have the same chances as their independently educated counterparts, according to the Sutton Trust, a charity that seeks to boost social mobility through higher education.

In a report published on 28 January, it calls on universities to publish criteria for evaluating personal statements that are shared with all applicants, schools and parents. It suggests that both admissions staff and the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service should consider whether the current format for the personal statement could be improved to ensure it is “useful and fair”, particularly since few other countries “expect young people to ‘sell’ themselves in this way”.

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