A MORI survey of teachers at secondary schools in England and Wales commissioned by the Sutton Trust has found that a majority of teachers would support both the introduction of an American style SAT test for university entry and the proposal that university places should be awarded to students after their A level results become known.
Nearly two-thirds of teachers (65%) agreed that the award of university places should be made after young people receive their results; only 20% disagreed. A third of teachers strongly agreed. In November 2003 universities UK and the Government both expressed support for the principle of post-qualification applications for university places.
The majority of respondents (55%) agreed that a test of academic potential such as an American style ‘SAT’ test would be useful in addition to A levels as a guide for Year 13 students who want to apply to university; only 29% disagreed.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “The Trust believes that students from schools with low examination performance are penalised by the fact that applications are made and university places offered before A level results are known.
A trial of the American SAT in British schools showed that as an additional measure to A levels, it can identify talent from schools with low examination performance. It is good to see that the majority of teachers support both these moves. The support for an SAT-style test is quite surprising as we expected teachers might oppose another 16 plus examination – however limited.”
The survey also questioned teachers about their views on an ‘English Baccalaureate” and here views were split: 41% of teachers in England disagreed with the idea as compared with 36% who were in favour.