A free school in one of the poorest parts of Britain, nicknamed the “Eton of the East End”, is to send eight pupils to Oxbridge this year, putting them ahead of some of the most famous public schools in the country.
The London Academy of Excellence, a free school which has been running for three years, is celebrating after eight pupils received conditional offers to study at Oxford and Cambridge.
According to the Sunday Times, the figure puts the school above some of the country’s leading public schools, with one pupil from Gordonstoun, five from Sherborne and four from Haileybury destined for Oxbridge.
All eight teenagers from the East End school hail from immigrant families, some of whom will be the first of their families to go to university.
was the first free school to be set up with the support of private schools, and is aimed at getting bright children into top universities.
Three quarters of its year 13 students have received offers from Russell Group universities this year.
Earlier this year,
This placed the school higher up the academic ranking than the likes of Wellington College (38 per cent), Roedean (38 per cent) and the Duchess of Cambridge’s alma mater Marlborough College (30 per cent).
John Weeks, the school’s headmaster, said: “This is a brilliant and thoroughly-deserved achievement for our Oxford and Cambridge applicants and for London Academy of Excellence as a whole.
“LAE takes great pride in the culture of academic excellence it has created, based on the highest expectations for all our students.
“We will continue to raise the aspirations of students in Newham – many of whom will be the first in their families to progress to Higher Education.
“We don’t want them to ask, ‘Is Oxford or Cambridge right for me?’
“Alongside the rigorous A level provision we provide, the additional expertise of our staff and experience of our partner schools provides our students with the skills they need to progress to a top university, something they may not have even considered previously.”
One student, Nuzhaat, who is the first in her family to attend university and hopes to study Law at Jesus College, Oxford, said: “I never even imagined applying to Oxford University before I joined LAE. Now, I have been offered a place to study Law.”
Reiss, who received an offer letter to study English Literature at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, added: “I only saw Oxford and Cambridge as an impossible dream, but since joining LAE the idea of applying to the top universities has been ‘normalised’; every student is encouraged to apply to Oxford, Cambridge and the top Russell Group universities.”