Suffolk school tops national Oxbridge student table

St Benedicts Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds has topped the national tables for students heading to Oxbridge universities.

The Department of Education statistics, published yesterday, show the proportion of students in every state funded school or college in England who progressed to further or higher education or went into employment or training.

St Benedicts came joint top of the list with seven percent of students heading to an Oxford or Cambridge university when they finish their studies.

Headteacher Hugh O’Neill said: “I feel a bit rueful about the fact that Ofsted mentioned we tend not to be as good as we should be stretching the most able.

“Statistics with national data that shows seven percent of our students went to Oxbridge universities and 24 percent went to Russell Group universities makes me feel my judgement on this was correct.

“We have never pushed our students into Oxbridge and Russell Group universities though.

“We try to give one to one support in the UCAS applications and have specific programme helping students through the Oxbridge application.

“That is somthing we have done for many years.”

Figures show that Suffolk is in line with the national average for Oxbridge students with one percent of school leavers attending those universities.

However, Suffolk is below average in students going to any educational destination, with 56 percent compared to the average of 62 percent.

It is also below the national average of 48 percent of students heading into higher education with 44 percent.

Suffolk students seem to be taking a more vocational approach to their education with above average numbers of students going on to do apprenticeships - four percent compared to the national average of three percent.

Graham White, Secretary of Suffolk National Union of Teachers said: “Very well done to parents pupils and teachers at St Benedicts.

“Education is enabling each and every pupil to achieve the best they can in whatever they can.

“Some pupils are better in employment, others are better on apprenticeships, others in vocational courses whilst for some higher education and academia is the best route.

“Education is not cheap but ignorance is expensive and we need to do all we can to ensure each pupil fulfills their promise in whatever skills they have.”