From the Daily Record:
"A TEENAGER from a deprived area has finally been awarded a place at medical school."
"Joanne Martin, who celebrated her 19th birthday yesterday, had been rejected by Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee universities – despite notching up the necessary exam passes to train as a doctor."
"The determined student – a former pupil of Glasgow’s Springburn Academy – will now begin her medical degree at Aberdeen in September."
"But Joanne, whose mum is a part-time cleaner and dad a postman, believes other pupils like her could miss out because the system is weighted in favour of middle- class applicants."
"It was only after Joanne took a three-month-trip to Ghana to teach health and hygiene and did an Open University course to beef up her application that she was finally offered a conditional place at Aberdeen."
"The university insisted on her hitting certain grades on her OU course before they would give her a place."
"But after we highlighted her situation, she was contacted to say her place was now unconditional."
"Joanne, from Possilpark, said: "It was only after my story appeared that there was a change of heart."
"`I am really looking forward to starting my course at last.`"
"Joan is concerned that other pupils from a similar background to hers are still missing out."
We hear a lot these days about the `attainment gap.` Policy makers have been setting up committees and consultations to address the problem.
Now here is Joanne Martin pointing to an obvious flaw in the system. School cut backs, and a lack of provision of important subjects, are forcing pupils from deprived areas into hubs in order to get the qualifications they need. That gives pupils another uphill struggle.