Annual Reception at House of Lords with The Rt Hon Baroness Tessa Blackstone
The Rt Hon. Baroness Tessa Blackstone hosted our Annual Luncheon Reception at the House of Lords on Tuesday, 30th September 2014 which was attended by 60 guests including NCUP members, senior academics, members of the teaching professions and educational organisations.
Baroness Blackstone’s professional life as an educationalist and politician included being an Adviser at the Central Policy Review Staff in the Cabinet Office and also as Deputy Education Officer at the ILEA .Her academic life has been at LSE; Professor at the Institute of Education; Master at Birkbeck College; University of London (1987-97); and Vice Chancellor at the University of Greenwich (2004-2011).
She spoke about the need for widening participation in higher education to make it available to more disadvantaged A-level students, of the need to broaden 6th form education in favour of the International Baccalaureate and the need for the Russell group universities to be more inclusive and supportive of students not able to achieve the high A-level grades more readily obtained from those attending privileged private schools . Many guests strongly supported these aims but issues which were brought up in response by NCUP members included: the need for governments to provide the additional funds for providing a good education of a high standard to a wider academic range of incoming students; the need to ensure that students starting university courses had the adequate academic knowledge to be able to follow their chosen course; and more recognition from government about the programmes and schemes already in place in many UK universities.