Jonathan Simons

A surefire way to get more state pupils into Oxbridge

Jonathan Simons, head of education at thinktank Policy Exchange, writes weekly about policy and education

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When I was working in Downing Street in 2007, the government was focused on how education can be used to boost social mobility and effect change. The Sutton Trust charity published some data which we seized on, citing that 43 per cent of state secondary school teachers would never/rarely advise the most academically gifted children they taught to apply to Oxbridge. This, it was felt, was unacceptable.

Fast-forward almost a decade and recall the millions spent on outreach work, the huge efforts to dispel Oxbridge myths, the tens of thousands of new “best generation ever” teachers who have ...

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