Private schools must accept they will get fewer students into Oxbridge, warns Cambridge vice-chancellor


Non-public faculties will have to settle for that they will area fewer pupils at Oxbridge, the vice-chancellor of Cambridge has warned.

Professor Stephen Toope claimed that the “top quality” attached to independent schooling was in decline.

He stated the enhanced ingestion of point out college little ones at Cambridge – climbing from 68.7 per cent in 2019 to 72 per cent past yr – was “true progress”.

Non-public college leaders have criticised pitching independent establishments versus their condition counterparts. 

They argue that private colleges have served to set up point out faculties and that numerous condition school pupils were being from rich backgrounds.

Nonetheless, Robert Halfon, the Tory chair of the Schooling Decide on Committee, has claimed the position quo is “not a degree playing field” and extra improve is necessary to make sure a “meritocracy”.

Prof Toope, a Canadian who leaves his put up this September, told The Situations: “I would never ever come in from the exterior and say the program is essentially completely wrong and has to be totally overthrown.

“I would say we have to retain creating it really, incredibly crystal clear we are intending to minimize over time the selection of folks who are coming from unbiased college backgrounds into areas like Oxford or Cambridge.

“We’re undertaking it by welcoming some others, not by telling people people we don’t want you. Individual college students who are talented, we would want them, but they are likely to be competing in opposition to an at any time-bigger pool mainly because there are much more pupils coming from point out colleges who are observing a probable location for them selves at Cambridge or Oxford or other Russell Group universities.”

Personal schools educate close to seven for every cent of small children, the proportion for sixth formers is thought to be about 12 for every cent.

Condition university pupils designed up 72 for every cent of the Cambridge ingestion last September. The ingestion from state schools is up from 70.6 for every cent in 2020 and 68.7 for each cent in 2019.

Cambridge’s benchmark established by the Bigger Schooling Statistics Agency, while not an formal goal, was for a 76 per cent point out university consumption in 2020.

Prof Toope, a Harvard graduate, claimed he was “not a large supporter of social engineering jobs” and that the shift absent from independent faculties was a process that will “adjust over time”.

He explained that Cambridge could introduce new metrics together with grammar faculty recruitment and cost-free college meal eligibility for the reason that heading to a condition school was not a specific measure of socio-financial background.

Prof Troope also welcomed scholarships for black college students that had been funded by the rapper Stormzy which had aided broaden participation.

He explained to The Periods: “We really don’t tackle all these troubles only by getting extra people coming from point out colleges. We’re much extra interested in searching at deprivation and cost-free school foods info, which we think presents us a improved photograph.”

But Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council and a previous head of Harrow, told the paper: “Contextual admissions are only a practical element of the choice course of action if they are applied adequately. It is a disgrace this debate is so frequently introduced as unbiased versus state.”

He explained impartial educational institutions supported their state counterparts and were being accountable for encouraging best universities to pick from a broader industry.



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