University 'a natural step' for SW1 pupils

21st January 2005 at 00:00
With its mixture of 17th-century grandeur and sleek modernity, Grey Coat Hospital seems every inch the type of school which the Higher Education Funding Council for England says is turning out a disproportionate number of university students. But its location in a wealthy enclave of Westminster in the sought-after SW1 postcode area, does not tell the whole story.

Rachel Allard, headteacher, says many local parents send their children to private schools, leaving her with a more challenging intake than the postcode suggests. And with Victoria Station just down the road, the Church of England girls' comprehensive attracts students from all over London.

Nevertheless, 84 per cent of the students in the mixed sixth form go on to university. "All those who want to go, do so, on the whole," Mrs Allard said.

"We have quite a lot of students who think about university from the time they enter school. They help teachers to create the expectation that it is the natural next step. It's not peer pressure, it's peer encouragement."

For the students who are the first in their families to contemplate taking a degree, the school has a member of staff involved in the Aimhigher project to offer information and encouragement. However, Mrs Allard said that despite the HEFCE report's finding that tuition fees were not deterring students, fear of debt incurred by university fees remained a major worry among poor families.

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

Comments

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