State-Funded Harris Westminster Surpasses Eton with 57 Oxbridge Offers for Disadvantaged Students

State-Funded Harris Westminster Surpasses Eton with 57 Oxbridge Offers for Disadvantaged Students

State-Funded Harris Westminster Surpasses Eton in Oxbridge Offers

In a groundbreaking achievement, Harris Westminster Sixth Form, a free school established to support disadvantaged students in gaining entry to top universities, has exceeded the number of Oxbridge offers received by the renowned Eton College.

This year, students at Harris Westminster secured an impressive 57 offers from Cambridge and Oxford, outshining Eton’s 51.

The free school, operating for a decade, conducts classes on Saturdays and maintains extended hours from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm throughout the week.

Eton’s Prestige Overwhelmed by Harris Westminster’s Success

The contrast in achievements becomes even more notable considering Eton College’s distinguished reputation and the hefty fees it charges, nearing £50,000 annually, with additional charges for registration and acceptance fees.

Eton, with alumni including prominent figures like Prince William, Prince Harry, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, and Dominic West, received fewer Oxbridge offers than Harris Westminster this year.

Collaborative Educational Endeavor

Harris Westminster Sixth Form operates in partnership with Westminster School, known for its fees of £37,500 for day students and almost £50,000 for boarders.

While Westminster School received 96 Oxbridge offers this year, Harris Westminster’s success highlights the impact of collaborative efforts in bridging educational gaps.

Executive Principal Reflects on Success and Educational Equality

James Handscombe, the executive principal of Harris Westminster, attributes the success to a growing awareness among universities about selecting students with potential, irrespective of their educational background.

Having studied at Oxford and Harvard, Handscombe emphasizes the universities’ evolving approach to identifying potential among students who haven’t had private education throughout their lives.

Innovative Educational Practices

Harris Westminster’s commitment to innovative educational practices was evident when Handscombe implemented a ban on traditional titles such as ‘sir’ or ‘miss’ for addressing teachers, deeming it as ‘cultural misogyny.’

Last summer, the school achieved impressive A-Level results, with one-fifth graded at A* and a quarter of pupils achieving at least A*AA.

Pressures on Oxbridge for Inclusivity

The success of Harris Westminster comes amid increasing pressure on prestigious institutions like Cambridge and Oxford to admit more students from state schools.

While Cambridge’s intake from state schools rose to 72.9% in 2022, Oxford maintained its commitment at 68.1%, highlighting the ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity in higher education.

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