"I didn't think state school students applied." DG
Sadly, I think most don't.
I went to Oxford from a grammar school back in the 1990s. I only met 4 people who admitted coming from Comprehensives in the whole time I was there (maybe there were closeted Compies out there meeting in secret??) All 4 were from the leafiest of leafy Comps and one or both parents were school teachers. To my knowledge I was the only person in my year who didn't have at least one parent with a University degree.
At the end of my first term I volunteered to stay in college and help look after the interview candidates - my mission, to adopt the state-schoolers and fill them with confidence (as on my interview visit I had felt as if I had wandered into a Merchant Ivory film by mistake.)
I met two and, when I asked my tutor about it he assured me that they were the only two who had applied. He assured me they tried to see anyone who came from a school they didn't recognise (which is why they had seen me! - not the quality of my General Essay then
) I sympathised with don-world and almost blamed the unambitious schools and pupils for not giving Oxford a try ....But that was more than 20 years ago, Oxford!!
If they really want pupils from ordinary schools, and heaven knows they need the fresh blood, they should be trying all the time to find new ways every year to get them in - and make them feel welcome when they get there.
neveragain* - good on your DD - congratulations - hope she is enjoying her gap year
- but coming up from an affluent Grammar (or even a bog standard one like mine was) is not at all like coming from a real Comprehensive.
DD's old school (a nightmare Comp from which she was rescued by my sheer bl***dy mindedness in the face of the LEA) took a select few Year 11s up to Oxford the year before last. A girl who is a friend of my daughter came home very depressed.
"I wish I'd never gone. They should have taken us to the Zoo instead - I'm as likely to end up a giraffe as an Oxford graduate."