On 5Live they have just been discussing university access, this time from the point of view of the number of kids from state schools getting into Oxbridge, rather than the emphasis on ethnicity (although I dont believe the BBC actually gives two hoots about working class ethnic British children getting in , they simply want standards lowered to allow more black people into Oxbridge, Asians are already well represented).
However they cited an example of a boy froma state school with 5A* turned down by a Cambridge college for maths. The reason was very clear, he didnt do well enough in the additional STEP test , which is set not by all, but by most of the best colleges for maths. However the BBC brushed this aside as if it didnt matter, suggested that with 5A* there was nothing more he could have done, and allowed the interviewee to imply that state school pupils are rejected because they 'lack the social graces'.
Every year many pupils with exccellent grades are turned down by Cambridge. 5A* is no guarantee for anyone. Private school and grammar school pupils know this, while some pupils who have been 'spoiled' in their small comps where they have been treated as if they are budding Einsteins (simply because the competition in their schools just isnt there), classed as 'gifted and talented' just do nto realise how competitive it is to get into a world class universiity and think 5A* should be an automatic passport.Most people with 5A* will, of course, get in, but Maths demands that little bit more, as do other very popular subjects like Veterinary science and medicine. This has nothing to do with prejudice against state schools and everything to do with a very high standarsd of candidates for few places.