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John Denham's decision to force every university to adopt a policy for admissions, and to make that public, is a sensible attempt to try to reassure people that their children are not losing out by reason of their background. Although there is no evidence of widespread dissatisfaction with university admissions, there is unease that young people are not gaining entry to universities because they are too privileged or not privileged enough.

The real debate, as ministers now seem to realise, is about all the young people who don't stay on at school and gain the qualifications needed for university entrance. "It's the schools and families, stupid" is the message that needs to be grasped.