London Academy of Excellence in deprived Stratford gains six Oxbridge places

Head teacher Robert Wilne

Head teacher Robert Wilne


A free school for sixth-form pupils in Stratford, one of Britain’s most deprived areas, will send six of its students to Oxford or Cambridge University.

The London Academy of Excellence (LAE) is believed to have secured more Oxbridge offers on its first attempt than all other schools in the borough of Newham last year.

The LAE, a selective sixth-form for 16 to 19 year olds, opened its doors to its first intake of 207 pupils in September 2012 after being set up by independent Brighton College in East Sussex.

Backed by seven other leading public schools, including Eton and Roedean, LAE’s aim is to draw London’s brightest children from poor backgrounds to prepare them for the best universities.

Newham is the second most deprived borough in England with the average free school meal rate in the area around 40 per cent, significantly higher than the national average of around 14 per cent.

Teachers have hailed the Oxbridge success of LAE students Onkar Singh, Zeeshan Iqbal, Olivia Hylton-Pennant, William Sorflaten, Audrey Walela and Amena Ali.

They have received conditional offers to study at Downing, Newnham and Robinson colleges, Cambridge, and Wadham College, Oxford.

Onkar Singh, who aims to study modern foreign languages at Downing College, said: “I chose to apply to Cambridge because having been taught by three teachers at LAE who went to Oxbridge I wanted to acquire the same level of passion and understanding that they brought to every lesson.”

One of the goals of LAE - which was the first sixth-form college to be set up under the Government’s free schools programme - is to promote social mobility.

LAE headmaster Robert Wilne said: “I am delighted that 15 LAE sixth formers were invited for interview at Oxford and Cambridge and that six have secured offers.”

Richard Cairns, head of Brighton College, said his work as a governor at Kingsford Community School in Newham convinced him that there was a need for an academic sixth-form college to prime students for entry to top universities.

He said: “Too many youngsters I spoke to thought that university was not for them.

“Even those who had aspirations to go to university were choosing A-level subjects like sociology and media studies that were of limited value in securing offers from the best institutions.

Students aiming for a place at LAE have to achieve at least an A grade in the GCSE subjects they want to continue studying in Year 12.

In addition, they also have to have at least five A or A* GCSE grades overall, and at least a B in GCSE maths and English language.


Latest News Stories

12 minutes ago
Chancellor George Osborne outlined the government's spending plans in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review (Pic: PA/Yui Mok)

George Osborne vowed to “put security first” as he outlined the government’s economic plans for the next five years in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review.

Angela Farrugia lost three brothers - Barry, Victor and David - to contaminated blood. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Agony for victims of health scandal as government looks set to make them wait yet again for proper compensation

David Cameron
Shoppers at Newham's retail centres ahead of Black Friday

For all you bargain hunters preparing to “shop ‘til you drop” on Black Friday, we’ve put together a handy guide to surviving the day and given you the low-down on where to find the biggest savings in the borough.

United Kingdom
The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines - including one from Stratford - to save £11million

‘All the conversation now is about social media, removing something as important as this is a false economy’ say Tories


Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

Read more
You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder