Go to navigation
It is currently Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:21 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:20 pm
Posts: 868
Do you remember the Laura Spence Affair? When Gordon Brown thought that Miss Spence ought to have been offered a place at Oxford for no better reason than that she had attended a northern comprehensive? It is a little known fact that of the five candidates accepted by Magdalen College to read Medicine that year, one came top in the entire university in Prelims, another came second, and the other three acquitted themselves very well. Which of these five students do you think ought to be refused a place to make way for a Miss Spence or some other such person championed by Gordon Brown or the Sutton Trust? One of the three from ethnic minorities perhaps? Or one of the three women? Or one of the two from comprehensive schools (which, despite accounting for only 25% of applicants, were awarded 40% of the available spaces).

Oxbridge admissions ought to be decided upon by the tutors, without political interference. They are best placed to know who is the most deserving.

Of course Laura Spence was predicted straight As. Today doubtless she would be predicted straight A*s. Therefore she would not qualify for Cambridge's new scheme anyway - she is too clever. Which just shows how silly a scheme it is.

(nb Cambridge does not in total have spare spaces each year. They are generally sorted through the summer pool)

_________________
Loopy


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 1774
Thank you for the detail DG. It makes sense. I had only heard the headlines on the radio.
And apologies KGC. I probably should have realised that they had had to apply previously but I hadn't!
Radio 4 was suggesting this was for students from deprived backgrounds who had done "unexpectedly" well at their A levels.
However, if they've got to interview and failed to get a place at that point, presumably they've got great GCSEs and great predictions. So it's more likely that is the interview that let them down? (And as DG pointed out, many schools provide a lot of practice for interviews. Others don't. * ). So, whilst this is good news, it maybe isn't as groundbreaking as I thought from the headlines?

* I know a headteacher who is brilliant and tough as nails. Their** background is unbelievably difficult and they have overcome a huge amount to be where they are now. The one thing that still makes them upset is the memory of their Cambridge interview where - the first person ever to apply their from their very low-achieving comprehensive and with ambition and exemplary academic credentials - they were humiliated and crushed by the experience. They went on to a red-brick university and got on with their lives and now head up a comprehensive school which has started doing interview training for universities because "I don't want anyone to have to face what I faced".

** Apologies for the poor grammar. I don't want to be more specific about details.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Posts: 9390
Location: Herts
Interesting stats in the document.

The two private schools with the highest success rate at Oxbridge are Westminster at 49.9% and St Pauls girls at 49%

The state grammar is Colchester Royal Grammar at 19.5% and the state comprehensive is Dame Alice Owens at 10.5%. This is averaged over three years as DAO had 28 students starting at Oxbridge in September 2018 which was a lot higher than 10.9%.

Hills Road Sixth Form College Cambridge had a higher total over the three years at 204 students, only Eton and Westminster had a higher total, but as this is a very large sixth form their actual percentage was 8.6%, not even half of the Colchester Royal Grammar total and was not enough to put them in the top 100 schools for Oxbridge entrance.

These top 100 schools took more than 30% of the places. The list includes 16 grammar but no state comprehensives.

Students from the grammars make up one third of the state school entrants but only 26% of the top A level grades so there are plenty of students with top A level grades who are either not applying or not getting in.

Just yesterday a sixth form student with great A level grades from a local poorly performing state comprehensive told me he was not applying because he didn't want to go to University with posh students.

Oxbridge are missing out on top students because of this perception.

There are certainly colleges with a very high proportion of private school students but others where there are plenty of students from state schools. It is almost half after all! DG


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:38 pm
Posts: 333
Loopyloulou wrote:
Do you remember the Laura Spence Affair? When Gordon Brown thought that Miss Spence ought to have been offered a place at Oxford for no better reason than that she had attended a northern comprehensive? It is a little known fact that of the five candidates accepted by Magdalen College to read Medicine that year, one came top in the entire university in Prelims, another came second, and the other three acquitted themselves very well. Which of these five students do you think ought to be refused a place to make way for a Miss Spence or some other such person championed by Gordon Brown or the Sutton Trust? One of the three from ethnic minorities perhaps? Or one of the three women? Or one of the two from comprehensive schools (which, despite accounting for only 25% of applicants, were awarded 40% of the available spaces).

Oxbridge admissions ought to be decided upon by the tutors, without political interference. They are best placed to know who is the most deserving.

Of course Laura Spence was predicted straight As. Today doubtless she would be predicted straight A*s. Therefore she would not qualify for Cambridge's new scheme anyway - she is too clever. Which just shows how silly a scheme it is.



(nb Cambridge does not in total have spare spaces each year. They are generally sorted through the summer pool)


She got a scholarship to read biological science at Harvard and then went on to Cambridge for her medical degree and eventually graduated in 2008!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:20 pm
Posts: 868
She got the usual bursary at Harvard and yes, she did eventually qualify as a doctor. She was a bright girl, just not bright enough. Placed 10th out of 20 applicants for 5 places at Magdalen if I recall correctly. She would probably have been accepted to read Biochemistry had she applied.

I wish her well.

_________________
Loopy


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2019