Leeds school ranks in league table of top 10 Oxbridge success

St Mary's School, Menston.
St Mary's School, Menston.
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Pupils and staff at a Leeds school are celebrating after their Oxbridge admissions ranked among the top 10 best in the country.

Five per cent of sixth-formers at St Mary’s in Menston went on to higher education at the prestigious universities after their A-levels.

A new league table published by the Department for Education marks it out as one of the highest proportions from non-selective schools in England.

Headteacher at the Catholic high school, Robert Pritchard, said: “We are thrilled by the success and just very pleased for the young people of St Mary’s. We have got a wonderful staff and wonderful young people and we get great support from the parents.”

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The school, which educates 1,100 pupils, was the only one in Leeds to feature in the league table, which is based on newly-released statistics from 2009/10.

Mr Pritchard said: “For a school with a cohort of our size it is very good. We are a comprehensive so we pull from across the ability range, so to get five per cent is a pretty good achievement.”

The school is equally proud of having no leavers classed as NEET – not in education, employment or training – last year.

“We want to get the best destination for all our young people and for many, university is their preferred choice. For others, it’s employment or training. Everybody gets a destination.”

The school features in the league table alongside Silverdale School in Sheffield, where six per cent of pupils went on to Oxford or Cambridge.

High Storrs School, also in Sheffield, and Fulford School in York rank alongside St Mary’s, sending five per cent of pupils each to Oxbridge.

The school with the highest proportion of Oxbridge admissions, at 10 per cent, was Dame Alice Owen’s in Hertfordshire.

The Department for Education said it had released the previously-unpublished figures as part of a Government drive for transparency.

Schools Minister Lord Hill said: “It gives parents greater information on which to base decisions.

“It is interesting to see how well some local authorities in more deprived areas, and some schools and colleges in those authorities, do in terms of students going to our best universities, compared to those in other parts of the country.”