Peter Hamilton says ‘In independent schools we are fortunate to be able to offer students an exceptionally wide choice at A-level and Pre-U’

14 August 2017
Posted by HMC Press Office

Peter HamiltonState School pupils are lowering their chances at getting a place at Oxbridge because they are more likely to apply for the Universities already over-subscribed subjects, compared to Independent Schools. Although it has been shown that Privately educated pupils are more likely to apply for the least-subscribed subjects at Oxbridge, it has also been argued that this is down to Independent Schools being more likely to offer A-levels in these subjects, such as Classics, compared to local-authority schools.

Peter Hamilton, from HMC (Headmasters' and Headmistresses Conference) has reinforced this notion, as "In independent schools we are fortunate to be able to offer students an exceptionally wide choice at A-level and Pre-U. These sixth form studies map onto the same wide range of traditional subjects offered by Oxford and Cambridge, such as classics, music and modern languages."

Oxford University has recently published that State School applicant's success rate is down to them applying "disproportionately for the most over-subscribed subjects", and applying in "disproportionately low numbers" for the least over-subscribed subjects, rather than it being a case of Independent Schools 'gaming the system'.

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