Which sixth forms help the most disadvantaged students progress to university?
The latest university progression data has just been published. This relates to sixth form students who completed their advanced qualifications in 2012. The figures include the numbers of students eligible for free school meals (FSM) progressing to university, a key measure of social mobility.
So which sixth forms did these students come from?
Around 1% of all the 2,227 sixth forms in England were responsible for over 20% of all the FSM students progressing to university. These top 24 sixth forms (overwhelmingly sixth form and FE colleges) provided a total of 2,778 undergraduates who were eligible for FSM.
Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc) tops the list for 2012 (taking over from City & Islington College which was top in 2011) and there are 8 colleges with over 100 FSM students progressing:
Number of FSM students progressing to university in 2012 (rounded)
|Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc)||270|
|City and Islington College||240|
|Birmingham Metropolitan College||180|
|Leyton Sixth Form College||180|
|Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College||160|
|Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College||130|
|Salford City College||110|
|Richmond upon Thames College||110|
These 8 colleges accounted for around 10% of the total for the whole of England.
The other providers in the top 24 are: St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College, Christ The King Sixth Form College, Luton Sixth Form College, Oldham Sixth Form College, Loreto College, The Manchester College, Tower Hamlets College and Westminster Kingsway College (all with 100 each), BSix, Bolton Sixth Form College and Ealing, Hammersmith & W. London College (all with 90 each), Bury College, Xaverian College, Haringey Sixth Form Centre, Uxbridge College and Sir John Cass School sixth form (with 80 each).
NewVIc’s university progression rates for the whole cohort are 62% overall and 63% for FSM students. This is well above the England averages (48% and 45%) and the Inner London averages (55% and 59%) despite the fact that a higher than average proportion of our students are vocational (with traditionally lower university progression). NewVIc also came third in England for progressing FSM students to ‘top third most selective’ universities and 15th in England for progressing FSM students to Russell Group universities. Based on what we know of our subsequent continued increases in progression, we would expect to move up all these lists fairly rapidly over the next few years.
Universities wishing to attract more FSM students should probably look to the colleges listed above as key partners if they want to make inroads into the under-representation of the most disadvantaged students in higher education.
More analysis will follow and last year’s data (from 2011) is analysed here.