Only 3% of Oxford’s state school offers go to ‘markedly below average’ schools

The Oxford Student can report that, out of all state school offers to Oxford between 2016 and 2018 surveyed by Progress 8 (a government performance measure which examines England’s state schools), about 74% of offer holders attended state schools considered ‘markedly above average’: only 30% of schools measured fall into this category.

In addition to this, 54% of state school offers went to schools deemed ‘well above average’ by the measure, a category that includes roughly 5-12% of schools; about 20% of state school offers went to an ‘average’ state school, a label that Progress 8 applies to around 40% of its schools.

The Oxford Student has found that about 3% of Oxford’s offer holders attended state schools categorised as ‘markedly below average’, which accounts for around 30% of state schools. Roughly 0.5% of state school offers went to schools measuring ‘well below average’, a category that around 10% of England’s state schools fall in.

In its undergraduate statistical reports, Oxford does not publish a breakdown of what category of state schools are receiving the highest proportion of offers. However, it does publish its state school intake as a whole: In 2016, 58.0 % of students admitted to Oxford came from state schools, rising to 58.2% in 2017 and 60.5% in 2018.

This article’s findings only look at state schools in England that received 3 or more offers from Oxford in the three years between 2016 and 2018, and that were also measured by Progress 8. This excludes a relatively small number of English schools that the government’s Progress 8 review didn’t include in its data calculations (chiefly, sixth form colleges where the institution does not educate pupils for long enough to produce the amount of data required for Progress 8 analysis).

Progress 8 measures how much average grade change students have made between key stage 2 and key stage 4 (ages eleven-sixteen), compared to students across England who received similar results at key stage 2. If, for example, a school qualifies as ‘well above average’ it means that their students have, on average, achieved half a grade higher at the end of their GCSEs than those who had similar academic results at the age of eleven. The difference between an ‘average’ and a ‘well above average’ school is approximately the difference between a student achieving ten B’s at GCSE and another student achieving five B’s and five A’s at GCSE.

Around 54% of Oxford’s offers made to state school students in England go to those who attend schools which have positively achieved these sorts of grade improvement for their students.

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