Record Oxbridge offers (2010)
This year, 74 pupils have been offered places at Oxford and Cambridge. The previous highest figure was 65.
These figures do not include 63 pupils from maintained schools associated with St Paul's who have been receiving assistance from us in their Oxbridge applications. A number of these applicants have also been successful. There have been several very positive messages from successful candidates.
The High Master, Dr Martin Stephen, commented:
There is increasing competition for all top universities in the UK and I do not think it has ever been more difficult to gain a place at one. For that reason alone, I am delighted at the success our boys have achieved.
There is no doubt that in a large cohort of very bright pupils individuals encourage each other, egg each other on and work up a brilliant head of steam when it comes to aspiring to gain places at top universities. Our pupil base will never be replicated in a non-selective maintained sector, yet there is no reason why pupils in non-selective schools cannot share, at least in part, some of the atmosphere in schools that are selective. Neither set of pupils suffers. Indeed, there are clear mutual advantages.
We should see independent schools as a national asset and buy into their strengths, when and where the price and quality are right. We need to use the independent sector, not abuse it.