NewVIc breaks all its university progression records.


Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc) has always had high rates of university progression, both in terms of numbers and the proportion of leavers progressing. These have consistently been well above the national and London averages. We are also very proud of the fact that more students eligible for free school meals progress to university from our college than from any other sixth form in England, based on 2012 data.

But this year, the college has surpassed all its previous records.

Our 2015 provisional university progression data show that:

  • 770 NewVIc leavers have progressed to university – a record.

Based on the national data for 2012, this would be the 5th largest cohort of university progressors from any sixth form in England.

  • This is 91% of all university applicants – a record.
  • This is 81% of the cohort of advanced leavers – including both A-level and vocational students as well as those who choose not to apply to university – also a record

This compares to a national university progression rate of 48% and an Inner London progression rate of 55% in 2012. Based on the 2012 data, this would be the 5th highest progression rate of any sixth form in England (below only 4 small school sixth forms with 300 progressors in total).

  • 90 NewVIc leavers progressed to Russell group universities – another record.

This figure has increased steadily and more than doubled over the last 3 years from 42 in 2012 and is the highest in Newham despite the recent creation of new selective sixth forms in our area which compete for potential Russell group applicants. This represents around 10% of the NewVIc cohort compared to a national proportion of 11% and an Inner London proportion of 8% in 2012.

Clearly, we are not yet able to compare like with like as the national data for 2015 is not available, but by any measure, these increases are remarkable; all the more so given that a higher than average proportion of our leavers come from vocational courses which generally have a lower university progression rate than A-level applicants.

How are these stunning results achieved? We can certainly point to much good practice in supporting student progression to university developed over many years at NewVIc and we are happy to share this. Good information, careful guidance, hard work and attention to detail are big elements of our strategy. However, there must be other contributory factors local to both London and to Newham. And the contribution of our excellent local primary and secondary schools must also be taken into consideration. If a sixth form achieves these high progression rates with students after 2 or 3 years, the schools these students attended for the previous 11 years must share the credit, so we could also usefully look further along the ‘supply chain’ to establish what works well.

See also:

Russell group numbers soar in Newham (August 2015)

From free school meals to university (April 2015)

NewVIc: highest number of disadvantaged students going to university (January 2015)

About Eddie Playfair

I am a Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges (AoC) having previously been a college principal for 16 years and a teacher before that. I live in East London and I blog in a personal capacity about education and culture. I also tweet at @eddieplayfair
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