Handful of elite schools dominate Oxbridge admissions

Five high-flying schools sent more students to Oxbridge in a three-year period than 2,000 other UK schools and colleges combined, a report by the Sutton Trust has revealed.

Westminster School, Eton College, St Paul's School, St Paul's Girls' School and Hills Road Sixth Form College, in Cambridge, produced a combined total of 946 Oxbridge entrants from 2007 to 2009, accounting for more than one in 20 of all Oxbridge admissions.

Meanwhile just under 2,000 schools and colleges sent one or no pupils to Oxbridge a year and produced a total of 9 Oxbridge students in the same period.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, an educational charity set up to promote social mobility through education, said: "We know these stark inequalities in university progression rates are driven primarily by the exam results in schools, yet the data we are publishing today also reveals that university chances can vary dramatically for schools with similar average grades.

"Our hope is that by making these figures available, the spotlight on schools will widen to encompass the actual destinations of pupils after they have left, alongside their A-level results."

He cites the example of two grammar schools with almost identical A-level results. One recorded an average of 65 per cent of students going to the 30 top-performing universities, while the other managed only 28 per cent.

The destinations of more than 750,000 students from 2,343 secondary schools are analysed in the Sutton Trust report published today.

The charity has also published the higher education destinations of pupils from individual schools with sixth forms and colleges in England.

The aim of the tables is to provide an alternative way of measuring the impact of schools, in terms of what happens to young people after they have left, alongside the examination results that are currently published.

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

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