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what else has gone wrong at Westminister (branching off from Westminster Maths thread)

(58 Posts)
boys3 Mon 19-Jan-15 19:21:50

A separate thread so as not to detract from the maths focus on the original thread.

The answer to the question posed in the title would appear to be "absolutely nothing" as far as the most recent available stats are concerned.

However Summerends cheeky request will be provided below shortly.

summerends Mon 19-Jan-15 19:31:58

boys blush and flowers.

boys3 Mon 19-Jan-15 19:34:53

summer as they say shy bairns get nowt, so was definitely worth suggesting. The DCs still at home may have been left to go hungry but sometimes one just has to prioritise smile

Here's a rough and ready cut on applications and assessment of success compared with cohort (Y13) size.

Cohort size data taken from DoE 2013 performance tables for KS5, specifically the number of academic students at the end of KS5 study – which covers IB, Pre-U etc, not just A level. The Oxbridge data is from the 2013 cycle so whilst several pinches of salt still recommended hopefully the figures have a reasonable degree of accuracy.

No figures available on DoE site for three schools listed in the original Westminster thread (one each from Wales, Scotland and Ni respectively), and for a fourth (Lycee Francais) the DoE figure was lower than the number of applicants reported by Ox and Cam (??? – must be a conspiracy theory opportunity there somewhere) , so that leaves 103 schools – 50 independents and 53 from the state sector, with 7379 and 23874 students, 3420 and 3041 applications, and 1275 and 927 successes respectively. Indies 37.3% application success rate, and state 30.5%. Against overall cohort size Indies 17.3% and state 3.9% success.

The number of acceptances have been divided by the cohort information. Bearing in mind the saltiness aspect I’ve put the results into 5 % bandings as shown below. For each band there is the number of schools, indie:state split, DoE reported student number, Oxbridge applications and accepts, the weighted success rate against the full cohort, and the listing of schools in that banding. As before an * after the school name indicates that it is independent rather than state.

45% - 50% of cohort with successful applications

1 school, Westminster*, 45.2%

40% to 45% - none

35% to 40%

2 schools, 2 indie, 0 state, 241, 174, 89 weighted average 36.9%, Magdalen College School*, North London Collegiate*

30% to 35%

6 schools, 6 indie, 0 state, 924, 727, 297 weighted average 32.1%, St Pauls Girls*, St Pauls*, Wycombe Abbey*, Eton*, Winchester*, King’s Wimbledon*

25% to 30%

3 schools, 3 indie 0 state, 384, 211, 101, weighted average 26.3%, Habs Aske’s Boys*, Oxford HS*, RGS Guildford*

20% to 25%

6 Schools, 5 indie : 1 state, 652, 349, 139 , weighted average 21.3%, QE Barnet, CoL Girls*, Kings Edwards Egbaston*, Hab Aske’s Girls*, Guildford HS*, Perse School*

15% to 20%

13 schools, 8 indie : 5 state, 2025, 935, 350, weighted average 17.3%, Tiffin Girls, Tonbridge*, Sevenoaks*, Latymer*, Cheltenham Ladies*, CoL Boys*, James Allens*, Pate’s, Henrietta Barnett, Godolphin & Latymer*, Hampton*, Latymer, Colchester RGS

10% to 15%

25 schools, 13 indie : 12 state, 4032, 1419, 491, weighted average 12.2%, Wilson’s, Harrow*, St Olaves, Manchester Grammar*, Dame Alice Owen, Merchant Taylor’s (Northwood)*, Headington*, Reading School, Dr Challoners GS, Norwich School , Judd School, RGS Newcastle, King Edward V1 Camp Hill, Brighton College*, Canford*, Tiffin Boys, Concord College*, Altrincham Girls GS, Kings Canterbury*, Lancaster RGS, Simon Langton School, Sutton Grammar, Charterhouse*, Dulwich College*, Whitgift* (Bold format not intended, Judd is state, and RGS Newcastle indie)

5 to 10%

18 schools, 10 indie: 8 state, 3610, 936, 273, weighted average 7.6%, Abingdon*, Bancrofts*, Watford GS Girls, Devonport HS Boys, Kendrick School, Alleyn’s*, King Edward VI GS Chelmsford, Benenden*, Rugby*, Loughborough GS*, Wellington College*, Camden School Girls, Uppingham*, Christ’s Hospital*, Royal Latin School, Hils Road 6th Form College, Altrincham GS Boys, Grammar School at Leeds*

0.1% to 5%

29 schools, 2 indie : 27 state, 19197, 1541, 377, weighted average 2.0%, Dr Challoner’s Girls, Epsom College*, Bromsgrove School*, Newstead Wood, Graveney, RGS Bucks, King Edward VI Five Ways, Aylesbury GS, Greenhead College, Peter Symonds, George Abbot, Hereford 6th Form, Woodhouse College, Esher College, Loreto College, Brighton 6th Form college, Exeter College, Truro & Penwith College, 6th Form College Farnborough, King Edward VI College Stourbridge, Richard Huish College, Brockenhurst College, Collyer’s, Runshaw College, Winstanley College, Wyggeston College, Shrewsbury 6th Form College, Cardinal Newman College, Bilborough College

For anyone not familiar with the original thread the above selections are driven by schools which has at least 15 application to Oxford and to Cambridge (eg a minimum of 30 applications in total). There's a bit more data in terms of success rates in terms of just those who applied by school in the last thread. Which can be copied into this thread if needed.

boys3 Mon 19-Jan-15 19:39:53

summer really not a problem, and it was actually quite straightforward, although DoE need to use the UCAS school identifier code in their datasets , or all the schools calling themselves King Edward VI need, with just one exception, to change their names grin

I really had no idea just how many DCs apply and are successful from some schools - albeit a very small minority of the total. What a sheltered life I must lead smile.

summerends Mon 19-Jan-15 20:01:13

That is truly impressive and probably could be sold to one of the tabloid newspapers. Now all you need is percentage of the cohort from each school applying wink

Needmoresleep Mon 19-Jan-15 20:13:44

Wow. Impressive boys3. Summerends' cheek is also impressive. I hope the children have now been fed.

What about adding the numbers going instead to top US Universities? 20-25 per year in the case of W.... No I am only joking. You have done enough. I hope Oxford admissions tutors don't read MN, otherwise next year's applicants could face some tough interviews.

summerends Mon 19-Jan-15 20:50:20

I would award boys3 an honorary Oxbridge postgraduate mumsnet degree not only for achievement but also problem solving. Probably deserves several wine after that.

Draylon Mon 19-Jan-15 21:31:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Draylon Mon 19-Jan-15 21:33:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

summerends Mon 19-Jan-15 22:17:36

Draylon you're missing the point grin this is all about the joy of playing around with data tables. I suppose it might dispel some myths as well for certain parents.

Draylon Mon 19-Jan-15 22:32:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

summerends Mon 19-Jan-15 22:39:45

Takes all sorts wink

Molio Mon 19-Jan-15 22:45:40

Well you've got to have a grinch too, so I'll volunteer smile The work you've put in is admirable but has a serious flaw in taking only the schools with a minimum of 15 applicants to each of the two universities. This leaves out a number of schools with high success rates but whose geography means they send less to the out of the way Cambridge. I can spot several omissions at a glance.

Caveat: I loathe stats and am bad at them so don't want to be drawn.

Also, my point in the last thread was: why the lack of distance between Westminster, with all its extraordinary resources in the widest sense of the term, and other schools, either in the less selective independent sector or in the vastly less well resourced grammar and top comp sector? I think it's indisputable that Westminster does exceptionally well in absolute terms, but how about relatively? The last thread went some way to answering that, but this thread seems a bit congratulatory without scratching the surface.

boys3 Mon 19-Jan-15 22:49:08

That is truly impressive and probably could be sold to one of the tabloid newspapers. Now all you need is percentage of the cohort from each school applying

to be fair Summer it would probably need more than a single year's data - aren't we lucky that seems to be available grin

needmore - top US universities - that is indeed tempting smile.

However it does demonstrate a slightly more serious issue. People do complain, possibly rightly so, about the apparent Oxbridge obsessions. However when it comes to data O&C seem to be the only two that openly publish it at a meaningful level, eg by individual school. The striking thing about the 100 odd schools listed above is not really the fact that virtually half are independents, but rather the geographic weighting to south / south-east England. The Times had a two page spread, largely free of any really meaningful data, last Saturday about the "north-south" split in terms of DCs going to the top 30 universities - although interestingly did not name who their top 30 were (presumably took it from the Sunday Times Uni tables, but did not actually state as much).

Less seriously I just like playing with the numbers, but sadly no wine on a schoolnight sad Need to go and put the snowplough in the garage, and check the helicopter blades neatly folded away.................and of course feed the inner tiger.

boys3 Mon 19-Jan-15 23:16:43

Molio, fair points - well apart from the seriously flawed bit which is just plain wrong smile

The 15 cut off was simply to keep numbers manageable as the Ox data at first sight presented some electronic management issues, whatever that means, can't believe I just wrote it Cambridge also mask any applicants, offers and acceptance that are less than 3. However I would be very confident in stating the likelihood of any school below my arbitrary cut off having a higher cohort success rate that Westminster as negligible. Certainly there will be many with a better offer to applications success rate - DS1's own school has ranged between 50 and 70% over the past few years, however when barely getting into double figs in terms of applications its only between 6 and 8% at overall cohort level. Good to be challenged though and I'm happy to prove myself wrong on this. Watch this space smile

I don't intend to be overly fawning to Westminster (I've genuinely no links with it) but the numbers are the numbers - albeit only for one year, hence my notes of caution.

On a separate note congrats to your DS (?) for his Oxford offer.

NWgirls Mon 19-Jan-15 23:19:07

Draylon - so schoolchildren are not important? In my view the extreme differences between schools in this country is a very important and complex issue - not just for parents but for the country as a whole. I make no apology for finding this thread interesting reading. Oxbridge access from different types of schools, including independents (which people often have mixed feelings about; money, social mobility, fairness, quality etc) and state (including grammars), is one striking facet of this. Credit to boys3 (and summerends) for pulling together facts in a useful way, enabling insightful or at the very least fact-based discussion for those of us who think education is worth a bit of attention - and for the humourous reaction to your taunts.

Boys3, I would also not be surprised if a newspaper covers (or copies the approach of) this, as it might sell. Also tempting to try to use it as a basis of comparison for schools not covered by this sample. Thanks!

summerends Tue 20-Jan-15 05:43:48

boys remembering from my glance at the original data the major disparity between schools was not success rates of applicants (most had about 20-30% successful) but the number of applicants. In fact some of the Northern state schools with a fair number of applicants (but less than 15 so not in data above) had high success rates of 50% or more . The lowest offers / applications ratios were from independent schools.
I was also surprised by the relatively small numbers applying from some of the superselective state grammars in the South/Midlands. All that is fine if it is informed pupil choice going for their perceived best courses. However it does raise the question whether even in these schools with very supportive parents aspirations may be more limited than the 'who dares wins' mentality of some independents.

Finally Molio with another DC successful your family not only has the highest offer rate of any institution (100% is n't it) but more applicants than a great number of schools. Amazing!

NaiveMaverick Tue 20-Jan-15 05:46:38

The big flaw with all this is you assume pupils want to go to Oxford / oxford is desirable.

Surely that's another way Westminster self selects? Parents who want their child to go to Oxford chose Westminster.

If you don't want your child to go to oxford you don't choose Westminster.

How many state school pupils want to go to oxford? 5%? 1%? 0.1%?

My DC wouldn't be comfortable at a private school as it's too posh / different values to mine. And I don't think they'll be comfortable at oxford either.

I see from these lists how few children go from my DSs grammar to oxford - and I'm not surprised. None of his friends want to go to oxford. For starters they'd prefer to live at home.

But basically I think the main conclusion we can draw is Westminster attracts parents who want their son to go to Oxford or Cambridegr.

summerends Tue 20-Jan-15 06:08:46

Naive I wonder how many DCs (or indeed their parents) are limited by their comfort zone of proximity to home or what they know. That may also limit aspirations post university. The importance is for informed choice rather than based on assumptions of what universities further away are like. Most students at both these universities are from state schools.
Parents with money for private and bright DCs may self select an academic education with more diversity in the curriculum. At least some of the teachers in these schools will be from universities like Oxbridge and therefore have a fairly realistic view of what these universities are about which in turn may encourage pupils to apply if at 16-17 they feel suited to an intense academic degree.

Xpatmama88 Tue 20-Jan-15 07:40:01

Boy3, what a statistics! But I love to find out how many of the sixth form girls entrance had actually helped Westminister to boost that results. I believe many very academically able girls jumped ship (like St. Paul, CLC, WA and many other London Day schoolls) to join W, plus the overses intakes.

Molio Tue 20-Jan-15 08:32:39

Yes sorry boys. It's not seriously flawed that was overstating it but it is a tiny bit flawed, because of the Cambridge thing. So it overstates the SE bias and leaves out a few schools to the west who do relatively well. It's extremely interesting though and confirms strikingly the point summerends makes about the lack of the 'who dares wins' spirit permeating the state sector - but is that teacher led or does it reflect a less ambitious/ pushy parent body? And that factor hits before one adds in limited resources for helping students who do decide to apply, which can't help but have an impact. Great work though, but doesn't MN now owns the copyright? grin

BrendaBlackhead Tue 20-Jan-15 08:36:41

What an interesting table.

I suppose "the what's gone wrong" thread is reasonable if as a parent you look at those statistics and pick the school most likely to come up trumps for Oxbridge. After all you can only base future returns on past performance, as all the financial bumf assaulting my letterbox says.

I would also be interested in data which shows subject success and how that contributes to the percentages. We all know that Land Management, Norse & Celtic etc are favoured by private schools and choosing those subjects bump up their numbers. Indeed as does Classics, simply because not that many state schools offer it to A Level.

I am particularly keen to know what the success rates are for subjects like English, History and PPE. I noticed on the Higher Education thread that state-school applicants weren't doing too well on that score. I know loads of state-school pupils locally who've gone to Oxbridge to do Medicine, Sciences, Maths etc but few who've been successful with Humanities applications.

Needmoresleep Tue 20-Jan-15 08:51:45

Xpatmama, I am not sure this is as big a factor as you may think.

1. Our observation was that girls were reasonably well distributed across the maths sets. I assume the primary function of taking in girls is to turn the sixth form co-ed, and even at this stage it would not be good for the more delicate male egos to have lots of girls in top sets and only boys in the bottom.

2. Only about a third of the intake will be boarders. These too are a mix of girls from overseas, girls living elsewhere in the UK and girls from places like Wycombe Abbey. Again Westminster only offers weekly boarding before sixth form, so the numbers of students from overseas before then is very limited. Some very, very bright girls join from overseas but most seem to arrive ready to engage fully with school life, rather than simply focus on results and Oxbridge. The main intake will be from London dayschools, and with a catchment from across London it is quite a cosmopolitan mix from quite a range of schools.

3. The London grapevine has it that it is easier for girls to gain places for lower demand subjects (classics, history of art, Russian) where otherwise there may be spaces in the classroom. Though this may simply reflect a girl bias towards humanities and languages and a boy bias towards maths and science. Westminster teaches classics, history of art and languages extremely well, and these can be less competitive subjects at Oxbridge, so in this sense taking in girls might boost W's Oxbridge intake.

4. There will be one or two girls who will look back and say that they enjoyed ther time at Westminster perhaps too much and they might have done better academically if they had stayed at their old school.

Competition for the small number of places, roughly 10, for new boys at sixth form level is very strong, and all five my son knew went on to Oxbridge. They woud have all been very strong candidates whatever school they went to.

I seem to remember reading something suggesting that the average boy's iGCSE results was higher than the average results for incoming sixth formers in that year. This in part might reflect better iGCSE preparation at Westminster, but also suggests that, perhaps like Oxbridge, you don't need straight A*s to get into Westminster sixth form and other factors come into play.

Sorry Draylon. Too much detail.

Xpatmama88 Tue 20-Jan-15 09:26:07

Needmoresleep, I think your point 3 have really answered my question. i don't know how many girls intake (overseas included) in W in lower sixth, I guess around 30 ( may be totally wrong) I bet 2/3 will gain a Oxbridge offer. Also like you mentioned 10 new boys in Sixth form, 5 got to Oxbrigde, which is 50%. So actually the sixth form intakes really helped in achieving that statistic.
With this sort of track record, I'm sure will attract many parents to apply.

uilen Tue 20-Jan-15 09:38:40

I think it gives a misleading picture to look only at schools putting in 15+ applicants to Oxford and Cambridge. There are many very highly respected schools which simply don't have those kinds of numbers since the sixth forms are small or the schools aren't as superselective as London/high profile boarding schools schools can be. Yet such schools may well do better with Oxbridge potential students than schools on this list do.

BTW for point 1 on needmoresleep's list: only 15% of Cambridge maths students are women, although 25% of applicants are female. Oxford has a high fraction of female applicants and offers for maths but women are still in the minority and less likely to receive an offer. Many reasons and explanations are offered, but already in the sixth form the top maths sets in the top co-ed schools tend to be mostly male.

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