Minority Students of Brampton Manor School Secure Top Spots for Oxbridge Universities14 Aug 2020
The Brampton Manor Academy in East Ham, which opened its sixth form in 2012, announced that 47 of its students have secured spots at Oxbridge universities. The school, which was specifically founded on the basis of diversity and aimed to transform university attendance rates in East London, said that this year’s results represent a new record, with the school’s previous record in 2019 with 39 students receiving Oxbridge entries.
In a year where students of many deprived backgrounds have had their grades downgraded due to the government’ decision to assess GCSEs and A-Levels based on school averages, the success of the students here is an example of what can be achieved when such students are given the right tools and means.
A school founded on diversity
The Brampton Manor Academy was founded on the idea that all students can be successful with the right rewards for determination and effort, with a system that encourages all students to be outstanding. In addition to encouragement, the school offers a number of amenities such as free school meals and textbooks to ensure that students are not held back by deprivation.
It’s sixth form was opened in 2012 and has received consistent praise for improving enrolment rates from the deprived areas of East London.
Since 2016, the school has seen a tenfold increase in Oxbridge offers for its students, the majority of whom are from ethnic minority backgrounds. Many of those who attended Oxbridge universities were the first among their family to even attend university.
This year’s results, with 47 students offered places at Oxbridge, represents a new record for the school which has now broken records for three consecutive years.
However, even the students here have been impacted to some extent by the government’s shambolic education response to the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting cancellation of classes. The decision to base the results on mock exams and school averages meant that even with the consistently-high grades at Brampton Manor, some students have lost out on their first choices.
Mr Sam Dobin, director of the sixth form, said that these grades are nothing like what students deserve and that it would appeal to all results, describing the system as “flawed”.
These concerns represent wider concerns among minority students, many of whom will get lower grades due to coming from deprived areas.
Other success stories
The students of Brampton Manor are not the only ones who earned great successes against seemingly-insurmountable odds.
An Iraqi refugee named Buraq Ahmed, who left the country when he was a toddler, got 4A* for his A-Levels. Ahmed arrived in the UK to undergo numerous surgeries and was forced to remain after the war in the country intensified, leaving him separated from his parents. Inspired by the support he received from the NHS as he grew up, he studied biology, chemistry, economics and maths at A-Level and is expected to start his studies in Cambridge.
Another star student is Vitoria Moria who left her family behind when she was 14 to pursue education in England. Learning English from Netflix, she earned a Mathematics degree at the Warwick University.
Students and campaigners are working to ensure that nobody is left behind
Despite these successes, however, many students across the UK are facing challenges relating to their grades. It is estimated that as many as 39.1% of students had their grades downgraded, with students from poorer backgrounds suffering especially badly.
With these concerns in mind, some students have started to campaign to ensure that no student is left behind by the current system. Campaigners are calling for universities to waive grades and open offers for the first year of university, citing that the algorithm-based system as unfair.
Meanwhile, others have voluntarily launched mentorship schemes to help fellow students secure places at top universities. Among those is a new Muslim Mentorship Scheme which is specifically provides university preparation and application advice to Muslim students, many of whom come from deprived backgrounds.