SRA refuses to divulge LPC provider pass rates

Call to release figures was made after data showed pass rates ranged from 29% to 100% across providers

SRA refuses to divulge LPC provider pass rates

The specific pass rates of Legal Practice Course (LPC) providers in England and Wales will not be revealed.

The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulatory body for solicitors in the jurisdiction, has refused a call by the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) of the Law Society of England and Wales to reveal the information.

The call was made after the SRA’s report for the academic year that ended 31 August 2018 revealed that pass rates ranged from 29% to 100%, depending on which of the institutions post-graduate students went to for the course.

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While the pass-rate range was revealed in the quality-assurance report, specific pass rates of the 25 institutions that offer the one-year course were not divulged.

The SRA said that it isn’t certain about the reasons for the wide disparity, but it ventured that the varied teaching quality, the size of the cohorts, and the academic ability of students may be factors.

“It is not appropriate to publish the names of institutions. Institutions set and mark their own assessments so publishing names alongside specific data could create pressures on providers which might impact standards,” the SRA said.

Charlotte Parkinson, chair of the JLD, said that it is worrying that the SRA said it cannot reveal pass rates for individual organisations.

“The cost of the LPC is significant, around £16,690 in central London in 2020, and many students will take a commercial loan to fund the course. Whilst we understand the regulator does not regulate LPC providers, they have a responsibility to ensure that students are able to make an informed choice on an LPC provider, before handing over such a large amount of money for a course that is, currently, a mandatory step to becoming a qualified solicitor,” Parkinson said.

According to the same report, pass rates for the Law Conversion Course (LCC) ranged from 35% to 100% across educational institutions. Only 56% of students completed the LPC in academic year 2017-18, down from 66% a year prior, while there has been a similar drop to 60% from 64% in the LCC.

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