The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has found huge discrepancies in Legal Practice Course (LPC) pass rates across the country in its annual quality assurance report.
In the 2017/18 academic year, pass rates ranged from as high as 100 per cent to as low as 29 per cent depending on where students study.
The overall pass rate fell significantly in only a year, from 66 per cent in 2016/17 to 56 per cent a year later.
There was a similar level of variance for the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), where pass rates at different providers ranged from 100 per cent to 35 per cent.
In the report, the SRA stated: “In addition to the variation in successful completion rates, there is significant variation between providers in terms of the proportion of students obtaining pass, commendation and distinction grades. It is unclear what the reasons are for such a wide disparity in performance.”
It added: “There are very large differences in the size of the different providers, from a group of 16 students to many thousands of students spread over different locations. There may also be variation in academic ability between different intakes, variable quality of teaching, and/or different approaches to assessment. This makes it difficult to be confident about consistent outcomes.”
Though there was no difference in pass rates when it comes to gender, female students did better than their male counterparts when it came to gaining distinctions. White students were more likely to pass the courses than those from a BAME background.
Both the LPC and GDL are set to be phased out as the new Solicitors Qualification Exam regime comes into effect.