We had an extremely successful 2019/2020 destinations cycle with 154 students gaining a place at university out of a total of 155 applicants. This equates to 85% of all students in the year group being accepted onto a university course, and 100% of those students who applied to university (and did not voluntarily withdraw their application).
The number of students who go on to university is considerably higher than the national data provided by the DfE, which shows that 47% of students in England attend university after completing their Level 3 qualifications. The small number of students who withdrew from the cycle did so to undertake apprenticeships and to gain work experience before applying to university next year. 80% of students were accepted onto their firm or insurance choice, but many of these students decided to take advantage of the clearing facility and apply to alternative courses based on either their grades being higher than expected or because they changed their mind about their original course. All students who required support received this from the careers team, both on results day and over the following weeks.
The number of students who have been accepted to study at a Russell Group University has increased significantly this cycle. 55 students in total will be attending a Russell Group University this year, which is 36% of the total number of students with a university place. This is considerably higher than the national average of 15%. The 2018/2019 cycle saw 34 students (21% of all applicants) attend a Russell Group University, and the 2017/2018 cycle saw 21 students (14% of all applicants) attend. This is a continued upward trend, and is reflective of the extensive careers support and guidance which is in place, as increasing acceptance to Russell Group Universities was a previous key target. It also demonstrates the ambition of our students and their desire to do well. In order to continue this positive trend, we have launched our Russell Group Programme, which includes a Russell Group evening to students and parents, as well as partnering with Advancing Access - an organisation dedicated to advising teachers to inspire students and prepare them for applying to Russell Group Universities. Our students are attending the wide range of Russell Group Universities listed below.
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- Imperial College London
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- King’ College London
- University College London
- Durham University
- Queen Mary University of London
- University of Birmingham
- University of Nottingham
- University of Southampton
- University of Warwick
- University of York
London Universities continue to be favoured among our students, with the most popular destinations being The University of Westminster (17 students) King’s College London (14 students) Queen Mary University (12 students). However, there has been an increase from previous years with the range of destinations, especially among Russell Group destinations.
A particular success of our performance this year was that 11 of our students received interviews at either Oxford or Cambridge. This was an increase from 0 during the 2017/18 cycle and 1 in the 2016/17 cycle. Out of the 11 students who were interviewed, 1 student received an offer to study Material Science at Oxford, and 1 student received an offer to study Economics at Cambridge. Both students were accepted onto their courses following their A- Level results. This increase in success is partly due to the excellent relationships which have been made between Oaks Park High School and Cambridge and Oxford. We have organised personal statement sessions and interview skills sessions from both Cambridge and Oxford, which have helped support students in applying for these extremely competitive universities. Furthermore, each student who received an interview at these universities had the opportunity to have a realistic mock interview provided by the senior leadership team or subject specialist. This programme will continue into the next academic year.
This year saw 6 out of 9 of our medicine and dentistry applicants receiving conditional offers to study these highly competitive courses, including 1 student who received an offer to study medicine at Queen Mary University. This is reflective of the programmes which were introduced this year including a one day Saturday session focussing on personal statements for medicine and dentistry applicants (provided by a Cambridge University associate), as well as mock interviews provided by members of the senior leadership team. Overall, 4 students have been accepted to study medicine or dentistry, with the remaining students deciding to study biomedicine or chemistry. or reapply to medicine next year. The final acceptance rate for medicine is slightly lower than the previous year's acceptance of 6 students, but the programs will remain in place next year as a priority to increase acceptance rate for these courses.
28 students in this cohort decided not to apply to university or to withdraw their application. Out of these students, 7 have been accepted onto an apprenticeship (equating to 4% of the total cohort). This is slightly lower than the national average of 7%, and is reflective of the high value our students place on university. However, our students have secured competitive apprenticeships with Transport for London and Triton Cycles as well as apprenticeships in nursing, administration and quantity surveying. Students who chose to apply for apprenticeships were provided with 1:1 guidance from our apprenticeship coordinator. 1:1 advice and guidance is also received by students who choose not to go to university, but seek employment or decide to take a gap year. 10 students have decided to take a gap year before applying to university, 6 students have chosen to go straight into employment, and 1 student is undertaking an art course. These figures are significantly lower than the national average who decide to go straight into employment, which highlights the value our students place on higher education.