Dreaming spires and extreme reactions

15th July 2011 at 01:00

The Sutton Trust's report on progression to "top" universities leads to a tabulated reference to five "elite" institutions that are particularly efficient at sending students to Oxbridge. Four are independent schools. The other is a sixth-form college in Cambridgeshire.

This college does not encounter its students until after they have taken their GCSEs, and recruits mainly from local 11-16 comprehensive schools. So much for the belief, still held by some, that the only way for a student to achieve excellence is to be selected into a grammar school at the age of 11.

To reinforce the absurdity of such a belief, perhaps someone could provide a comparison between the total number of students accepted at Oxbridge from the 34 grammar schools in Kent or the 15 in Lincolnshire and the number from the highest performing, on this criterion, sixth-form college in Hampshire.

Sir Peter Newsam, Former chief schools adjudicator, Pickering, North Yorkshire.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now