9th March 2001 at 00:00
(Photograph) - A week in the life of Davies Laing and Dick tutorial college, London

This is the longest established independent tutorial college in the country. It was started in 1931 to coach students for Foreign Office exams and Oxbridge entrance. In the immediate post-war period it was a crammer but over the past 15 years has become mainly a sixth-form college. Today, there are 300 students taking A-levels - two-thirds over two years, and a third doing resits in one year. Students still go to Oxbridge - there were four offers this year. The college offers 42 A-level subjects and has a teaching staff of about 70, says principal Elizabeth Rickards. There are also about 30 students taking GCSEs. Previously, these were taken after a one-year intensive course, but this year the college has started taking 14-year-olds on two-year courses. The college i in an imposing house in Notting Hill, west London. Before it was taken over by DLD it was a training centre for the exclusive Norland nannies. What used to be an elegant ballroom has now been split into an art studio and homework room. The college has no sports facilities of its own so students travel to fields and sports centres for football, basketball, netball and, a new addition, rugby.

Snaps by Judy Smith

Scientific approach: Deborah Olivier, head of GCSE, takes Deepa Patel for biology.

Break time: Alex Labi, Daisy Lewis and Sally Harner.

The white house: imposing exterior

Insight: Audrey Foster, psychology tutor

Brushing up: Nadina Mustafa in the art room, and, left, students' work

Studied look: Year 11 student Daisy Lewis

Making sense: A-level psychology students Justin Popat, Edward Starkey and Lucie Smith

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