London state school praised by Stormzy secures 51 offers to study at Oxford and Cambridge

Majority of pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds and receive free school meals

Eleanor Busby
Education Correspondent
Thursday 16 January 2020 19:00 GMT
More than 100 students at Brampton Manor have received offers in the past three years
More than 100 students at Brampton Manor have received offers in the past three years (Brampton Manor Academy)

A record-breaking 51 pupils from a state school in one of London‘s poorest boroughs have been offered places at Oxbridge.

Brampton Manor Academy in Newham, which was praised by grime artist Stormzy for its A-level results, has seen a tenfold increase in Oxbridge offers since 2016.

More than 100 students at the state school have received offers from the two prestigious universities in the past three years.

The majority of students who secured offers are from ethnic minority backgrounds, receive free school meals or will be the first in their family to attend university.

In 2014, just one student received an offer for Oxbridge. Last year, 41 students received offers from Oxford and Cambridge. But this year’s 51 offers sets a new record for the state school.

The school’s success, which rivals top private schools, comes after figures revealed that state school pupils have been offered 69 per cent of the undergraduate places at Oxford – a record high.

Owureku, who will be the first in his family to go to university, said he felt out of place in academic environments before attending Brampton Manor. Now he has an offer from Oxford.

He said: “Being surrounded by other ambitious students from similar backgrounds to me has increased my confidence and made me release how important it is that people like me do not feel out of place in prestigious institutions like Oxford.”

Melissa Rybicki, who receives free school meals and speaks English as a second language, has received an offer to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge. She said: “This has proved to me if you put your mind to something you can achieve it.

“My family was delighted, with my mum phoning round family in Ecuador to let them know; it was just unbelievable for someone from our background to achieve this.

“I felt I owed it to my family to succeed, for all their support and everything they sacrificed for me.”

Lilien is one of 51 students who have received an offer
Lilien is one of 51 students who have received an offer (Brampton Manor Academy)

Lilien, who will also be the first in her family to go to university, has received an offer from Cambridge to study English. “When I told my mum she just cried,” she said.

Sam Dobin, the director of sixth form at Brampton Manor, said: “A big part of our success comes from getting our students to focus on what is important – performing to the best of their considerable ability.

“We actively dispel the myth that you have to look or speak a certain way to get a place at Oxford or Cambridge.”

Brampton Manor opened its sixth form in 2012 with the aim of transforming the progression rates to Oxford, Cambridge and other elite Russell Group universities for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The oversubscribed sixth form accepts 300 students a year following an interview process. Some students travel for as long as two hours each way to attend the selective sixth form.

The school buys every student their own textbooks to encourage independent study, and there is an in-house team of five Oxbridge graduates solely dedicated to university access.

Dr Dayo Olukoshi, executive principal of Brampton Manor, said: “These offers reward the academic brilliance and dedication of our students.

“They have worked exceptionally hard to achieve the outstanding results in their GCSE and AS level examinations that have put them in a position to make a competitive application and I am delighted to see their talent being recognised.

“Nearly 100 of our students have received offers to study at Oxford or Cambridge in the past two years, and I could not be happier for them.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in