Skip to main content

Solicitors: Assessments

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL5651, tabled on 24 January 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to close the attainment gap between white students and ethnic minority students who pass the Solicitors Qualifying Exam.

Answered on

7 February 2022

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) introduced the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), as a new assessment for all individuals seeking to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. The first sitting of the first part of the exam (SQE1) was held in November 2021, and the results were published on 20 January 2022.

In light of experience from the former Legal Practice Course and the SQE pilots, the SRA has commissioned the University of Exeter to look at the possible causes of attainment gap in professional legal assessment. They will look widely at evidence from other regulated professions, from within universities as well as patterns of attainment at earlier stages of education. The SRA is expecting interim findings towards the end of this year and a final report towards the end of 2023. We will continue to engage with the SRA as it monitors performance in the assessments by individuals with certain protected characteristics and addresses any future negative trends in attainment.