Dirty tricks fuel fight for students
A survey of 84 colleges in the United Kingdom by the South-east Advisory Council for Further Education reveals a growing range of dirty tricks by schools hoping to keep pupils.
Some have asked them to sign "contracts" committing themselves to returning to school, while others have refused to disseminate information on college courses - something they are obliged by law to do. Others have told those thinking of going to college that they could have to pay for transport or books, or that school courses may have to close if they leave. Meanwhile, colleges have adopted aggressive marketing strategies. They are advertising on local radio, on buses and even, in one case, on television. One offered two meals for the price of one at Pizza Hut.
Almost a third of the UK's further education colleges responded to the survey, which asked about relationships withschools. Nearly three out of ten said they were "variable", "distant" or "non-existent". Forty per cent of colleges claimed their prospectuses and examination results were not getting through to school pupils.
"For the Government the challenge is to find a way to stop the cancer which it has created through the very organisms which it has devised," the report says.
Laurie South, the advisory council's chief executive, said he was not against competition but felt it had gone too far. Colleges were being forced to divert funds to advertising which could be spent on students, while schools had a captive audience.
Education, page 27
Woolwich terror attack: Suspect Michael Adebowale saw friend 'literally sliced to pieces' in 2008
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Unrest may spread across Europe, warns Red Cross chief
EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
You want to get an Eton scholarship? All you need to do is answer four (not so simple) questions
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
- 5 Farewell, Shameless. Your heirs have work to do
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.