Chris Millward, director for fair access and participation at the OfS, has responded to the media coverage.
Media stories published today and over the weekend say that some universities and colleges have put in place policies which call for poor spelling, grammar and punctuation to be disregarded when students’ work is assessed. Some early coverage – later corrected – falsely suggested that the OfS had called for these policies to be introduced.
Responding to the coverage Chris Millward, director for fair access and participation at the OfS, said:
'It is patronising to suggest that standards should be reduced for particular groups of students and the OfS has not called for – and nor do we back – policies like these. There is a very real issue in higher education with an unexplained gap in outcomes for some groups of students, including black students and those from disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Universities are looking at various ways of reducing these disparities but that should never result in a reduction in the academic rigour required for higher education courses.'