Huge disparity in LPC provider pass rates as SQE was introduced

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By Thomas Connelly on


Between 100% and 21%

There was a huge disparity in pass rates among providers of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) in the year the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) was introduced, a new report has shown.

The findings, published recently by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), show success rates varied from as high as 100% to as low as just 21%.

The regulator noted a number of factors which may impact a law school’s pass rate, including student ability and engagement, teaching quality and assessment arrangements.

The report — which covers the period between September 2021 and August 2022 — doesn’t name specific LPC providers but does show two scored a pass rate of 100%. Of the 20, three had pass rates of 30% or below.

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The SRA also highlights the very large differences in the size of the various providers and the number of students of different LPCs (full-time, part-time etc). LPC cohorts range from fewer than ten students to many thousands of students, spread over different locations.

The largest providers, BPP University and The University of Law, shared approximately 87% of the total number of students enrolled to take the LPC.

Overall, pass rates for the LPC fell compared to the previous year, 47.8% in 2021-22 compared to 53.5% in 2020-21. This, the SRA says, may be due to an increase in students who deferred during the pandemic, compare to previous years.

The SQE replaced the LPC as the route to solicitor qualification, although both courses are available until the latter is phased out by the end of 2032.

Last month the SRA confirmed it would miss its self-imposed deadline for publishing SQE pass rates among providers, blaming a lack of “sufficient data”.

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