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Getting to Medical or Law school

(65 Posts)
bobnl Mon 16-Apr-18 14:35:57

I am new to UK school system. I have been reading/asking questions about Secondary schools in the UK.
Somehow I have a feeling that, if a kid wants to get into Medical or law school, he/she should go to Grammar school or Independent school. In my view, kids from comprehensive state school have very little chances of becoming a lawyer or doctor.
Is that true?
Can you please share your experience?

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
ReinettePompadour Mon 16-Apr-18 14:41:33

No thats not true. Thats a very old fashioned wsy of thinking.

My doctor went to my DDs school which is a standard state school and all of the solicitors I worked with went to normal state schools too. It's the exam results and quality of your personal statement and work experience that will get you your place but students who go to Grammar/Private school may find it easier to gain a place because of their opportunities and confidence.

Snowysky20009 Mon 16-Apr-18 14:44:35

Ummm no lol my friends consist of barristers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, architects, dentists, MP, and a whole host of other professions. We all went to state!

PalePinkSwan Mon 16-Apr-18 14:46:51

Not true at all.

There are plenty of comprehensive schools with better academic records than grammars or independents.

Most areas don’t even have grammar schools anymore.

Might be useful to google for a general overview of the school system here.

DairyisClosed Mon 16-Apr-18 14:48:32

Well yes, but purely because the more able children a usually filtered into grammar of private schools and the resources in state schools are so poor that the less able ones don't get the chance to be pushed through the way they do in private schools. Obviously some law/medical schools are easier to get into than others. And here not all law degrees are equal so a first from country bumpkin University won't yield the same employment opportunities as much as a 2:1 from oxbridge.

LARLARLAND Mon 16-Apr-18 14:49:32

Not in the least bit true.

LostInLeics Mon 16-Apr-18 14:50:20

Its not true at all. The vast majority of children go to comprehensive schools, and if they are bright and hardworking, with supportive parents, they have every chance of getting into medical or law school. Many Universities will actually prefer candidates from comprehensives to those from grammar or private schools, since they will often be more self motivated, and have better independent study skills than those who have been spoon-fed and coached to pass exams at selective schools.

SluttyButty Mon 16-Apr-18 15:09:07

Erm my dd got 10 A*/A's at gcse and is predicted AAA at A level this year. She's going to law school and she goes to a comprehensive where at least two students each year go to Oxbridge. So it's a completely wrong assumption to make.

If a child has the ability, the school nurtures that ability and the parents are supportive then anything is possible.

Needmoresleep Mon 16-Apr-18 15:17:45

Absolutely wrong. Where did you read that.

nvcontrolfreak Mon 16-Apr-18 15:39:58


For starters there is no such thing as "law school" per se in the UK (or at least not equivalent to law school in the US). There are law degrees but there are still lots of hoops to jump to become a lawyer and any other degree paves the route to being a lawyer with only slightly more hoops. And all of that is changing anyway in the next few years.

If you check medical school applications threads, you'll see lot of state school students applying and succeeding.

justanothercreditissue Mon 16-Apr-18 16:12:40

It's not true but it is prob accurate that the majority of senior lawyers / docs went to an indi.

Whatdoiladymcbeth Mon 16-Apr-18 16:16:04

Utter bollocks.

catslife Mon 16-Apr-18 16:16:24

Where are you getting your info from?
Any research that says this is completely out of date given that since the 1970s most areas of the UK don't even have grammar schools.
This may have been true in the 1950s but not now!

LARLARLAND Mon 16-Apr-18 20:04:42

Is the OP not coming back?

bobnl Mon 16-Apr-18 21:00:14

Thank you all for your quick and helpful responses.

I got this information from several sources like the ones below

Some of my friends send their kids to independent school, I asked them why.. They say, the independent schools give personnel attention to kids, and they try to get best out of the kids... But this is not the case with most state comprehensive..

The other day, I was talking to someone about Medical School Interview, he said, preference is given to kids from a wealthy background, kids from doctor parents, kids from a rich neighborhood like oxford etc.. It makes me feel the education is commercialized.

Tell me how many outstanding comprehensives are there in buckinghamshire? one , two or may be three? why there are only 3 outstanding schools? when there are 100s of comprehensives with a good building, enough teachers, why they all struggle?

I have spoken to some of the kids from Buckinghamshire, they think, they have no good future if they cant get into a Grammar school.

OP’s posts: |
NorthernLurker Mon 16-Apr-18 21:06:59


SluttyButty Mon 16-Apr-18 21:12:25

I can assure you that although there are wealthy areas in oxford and the surrounding area, there are also areas that are far from wealthy and a lot of us send our kids to comprehensives here. And our children do get into Russell Group unis despite being at a state school.

pepperpop Mon 16-Apr-18 21:15:39

I went to normal (slightly rough grin) primary and secondary schools, no fancy education at all. I'm a solicitor now and some of my peers are training as doctors.

xyzandabc Mon 16-Apr-18 21:20:31

Buckinghamshire is very different to most of the rest of the country. It doesn't have many comprehensives at all. With a few exceptions, all state school pupils take the 11 plus exam, the top 30% or so in that one exam go to grammar school. The rest go to secondary moderns. In Buckinghamshire, of course the secondary moderns will struggle to send many pupils to law or medicine as the brightest third of pupils have been creamed off to the grammars at age 11.

The rest of the country (with a few exceptions) have comprehensives. These schools take pupils of all ability from lowest to highest and do the best for all of them. Many are great and will send lots of kids to university.

If you're moving to Buckinghamshire then your view and research may have some merit but if you're thinking about living in any other county, one that has comprehensives then I think you're very wrong.

JW13 Mon 16-Apr-18 21:22:11

In law, I think that's more accurate for the older generations (lawyers in their 50s/60s). DH and I are both Solicitors. DH is a partner in a law firm, I'm relatively senior in house. DH went to a relatively average London comp and I went to a reasonably good comp in Berkshire. Neither schools were outstanding and neither of us went to Oxbridge for our degrees. A lot of the older lawyers I've worked with went to private schools (fewer went to grammar schools), but most of the lawyers I know in their 40s and below went to state schools. Bright hardworking children at comprehensives have just as good a chance of becoming lawyers. IME the university is more important than the school.

Haffdonga Mon 16-Apr-18 21:33:47

No, it's not true. My 2 ds went to a normal state comprehensive and are in medical school along with 8 or 10 of their friends from each year.

However, we live in a comprehensive school area so kids of all academic abilities go to the same school. I guess if you live in a grammar area it's true that the brightest kids are the ones most likely to go to a grammar school and are also statistically more likely to achieve the grades needed for med school

It is absolutely not true that med schools choose wealthy students. They select mainly on test scores and partly on skills demonstrated in interview and through volunteering or work experience. However it is true that wealthy parents are those most likely to fund tutors, interview coaches and interesting work experience opportunities for their dcs.

EmmaC78 Mon 16-Apr-18 21:38:09

I went to a state school and have been a solicitor for the last 16 years.

thisagain Mon 16-Apr-18 21:41:31

My DD is a trainee Solicitor in a big London law firm, having gone to a normal comprehensive school. Did well in her GCSEs and A Levels and did a law degree at a Russell Group Uni. I know of atleast 2 junior doctors who went to the same school. It has to be pretty much straight As all the way though which is sometimes harder to achieve in a comprehensive school.

Bluntness100 Mon 16-Apr-18 21:45:19

This is not true at all. My daughter is so studying law at a Russel group uni, and yes she was privately educated but having met some of her peers and also talking to her a huge amount were not privately educated.

I would agree with the pp who said the uni is way more important than the school.

MarchingFrogs Mon 16-Apr-18 21:45:57

Here you will find the actual criteria for admission to UK medical schools - a somewhat more reliable source than your Iill-informed friend. Enjoy.

The reason you will struggle to find good or any other variety of comprehensive schools in Buckinghamshire, btw is that in terms of state secondary provision, it is a fully-selective authority. So it has grammar schools, which are set up to educate roughly the 'top' 30% and Upper schools.. Upper schools make no pretence at being 'comprehensive', because they are missing most of a particular section of each year's intake.

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