The Student Room Group

Can I get into a top uni if I go to a trashy public secondary?

I've got the grades to get in, but I go to a random public secondary. I have the choice to move to an Ofsted outstanding STEM school in my area for GSCE but I don't want to unless absolutely neccesary. Do top unis accept students from bad secondary schools? Should I move schools?
(edited 1 year ago)
Of course they do, why wouldn't they allow people from bad schools into their university? There is a reason there is an abundance of summer schools, programs and support aimed at helping low income/disadvantaged students

If you haven't started GCSE yet though, you haven't "got the grades" - focus on getting top results before thinking about top universities, that's what they'll be looking at
Original post by lexi1134
I've got the grades to get in, but I go to a random public secondary. I have the choice to move to an Ofsted outstanding STEM school in my area for GSCE but I don't want to unless absolutely neccesary. Do top unis accept students from bad secondary schools? Should I move schools?

If you have good GSCE grades and good predicted grades; coupled up with a good personal statement then you have every much a chance of getting in. Things you can do to pack out a personal statement, you could do an online MOOC, listen to podcasts, books, tv programmes, maybe even apply to a summer residential at a uni.
Original post by lexi1134
I've got the grades to get in, but I go to a random public secondary. I have the choice to move to an. Ofsted outstanding STEM school in my area for GSCE but I don't want to unless absolutely neccesary. Do top unis accept students from bad secondary schools? Should I move schools?


Unversities including top ones welcome students from state school. Nearly all universities have widening participation schemes and make lower contextual offers for students. These vary between universities but the conditions include attending a school whose A level results are in the bottom 40% or who live in a post code where few go to university. Bristol university aong with others like Exeter make offers 2 grades below for most subjects
Reply 4
Original post by AmIReallyHere
Of course they do, why wouldn't they allow people from bad schools into their university? There is a reason there is an abundance of summer schools, programs and support aimed at helping low income/disadvantaged students

If you haven't started GCSE yet though, you haven't "got the grades" - focus on getting top results before thinking about top universities, that's what they'll be looking at

Ok thank you thats very helpful! the only reason why i've been thinking about it is that i'm supposed to decide if I move or not before GCSE, so I kind of have to. But thank you!
Reply 5
Original post by Ghostlady
If you have good GSCE grades and good predicted grades; coupled up with a good personal statement then you have every much a chance of getting in. Things you can do to pack out a personal statement, you could do an online MOOC, listen to podcasts, books, tv programmes, maybe even apply to a summer residential at a uni.

Thank you for the tips that's very helpful :smile:))
Reply 6
Original post by swanseajack1
Unversities including top ones welcome students from state school. Nearly all universities have widening participation schemes and make lower contextual offers for students. These vary between universities but the conditions include attending a school whose A level results are in the bottom 40% or who live in a post code where few go to university. Bristol university aong with others like Exeter make offers 2 grades below for most subjects

Okkk thanks that makes sense. Thanks fir the help :smile:
Original post by lexi1134
Thank you for the tips that's very helpful :smile:))


welcome, so you want to do stem then? which subject you interested in?
Original post by lexi1134
I've got the grades to get in, but I go to a random public secondary. I have the choice to move to an Ofsted outstanding STEM school in my area for GSCE but I don't want to unless absolutely neccesary. Do top unis accept students from bad secondary schools? Should I move schools?


They don't care what school you go to in the way you think. If you go to a "bad" school, that may in fact make you eligible for a contextual offer (depends a lot on the uni however). Even places like Oxbridge will use data from your school to look at your grades in context, not to say "oh they went to a bad school, we don't want them".
Reply 9
Original post by Ghostlady
welcome, so you want to do stem then? which subject you interested in?

I like pretty much every stem subject equally, waiting until later before choosing :biggrin: thanks for asking
Reply 10
Original post by wolves2003
They don't care what school you go to in the way you think. If you go to a "bad" school, that may in fact make you eligible for a contextual offer (depends a lot on the uni however). Even places like Oxbridge will use data from your school to look at your grades in context, not to say "oh they went to a bad school, we don't want them".


Thanksss your answer helped a lot :smile:
Yes, you just need to do well in your exams. Granted, some schools may not prepare you as well for them as others, but you can and should be preparing yourself for them outside of just your school lessons anyway so, it is in principle possible. Note also most of said "top unis" consider grades in context so if you go to an underperforming school, they will take that into account.
So, do grammar schools really matter then, as I always tell my parents that grammar schools don't matter and the fact that going to a grammmar school doesnt necessarily mean you are smart, like am I right saying that, do you think?
Original post by wolves2003
They don't care what school you go to in the way you think. If you go to a "bad" school, that may in fact make you eligible for a contextual offer (depends a lot on the uni however). Even places like Oxbridge will use data from your school to look at your grades in context, not to say "oh they went to a bad school, we don't want them".

That's exactly what I keep thinking, but oh no, my parents don't listen and say that Oxbridge will value grammar schools more (I don't know if that's true), and I felt extremely upset because resulting that, we had to move from inside London to the edge of London which isn't even close to London
So based on what you guys were saying, if you go to a terrible underperforming school where students in average get like Ds or Es, but you get all A stars, you can still go to Oxbridge. And also, just out of curiosity, like for Oxbridge for example or other top universities like Imperial or UCL, is it like going to a non-selective or underperforming school or heavily disadvantaged increases the chance of getting to oxbridge whereas going to a private schools gives a low chance of going to oxbridge or imperial like being heavily advantaged?
Original post by SnowyPanda
So based on what you guys were saying, if you go to a terrible underperforming school where students in average get like Ds or Es, but you get all A stars, you can still go to Oxbridge. And also, just out of curiosity, like for Oxbridge for example or other top universities like Imperial or UCL, is it like going to a non-selective or underperforming school or heavily disadvantaged increases the chance of getting to oxbridge whereas going to a private schools gives a low chance of going to oxbridge or imperial like being heavily advantaged?

Yes you can still go.

Most, if not all, universities will take context into account. If Billy from the local comp who lives on a council estate and is a young career has A*AA than your privately educated A*AA won't look as good - simply because of the hurdles Billy has had to overcome. However, it's certainly not a low chance, a reduced chance is more like it.

Of course however, socioeconomic status is not at all the only hurdle someone may come across, so everything really does depend on the situation!
Original post by lexi1134
I've got the grades to get in, but I go to a random public secondary. I have the choice to move to an Ofsted outstanding STEM school in my area for GSCE but I don't want to unless absolutely neccesary. Do top unis accept students from bad secondary schools? Should I move schools?


There are no STEM schools now - the funding ended over ten years ago. Your results are compared to the school you are at ... probably better to stay put.
'Which school' does not define your life.
What you acheive in life is entrely up to you.

Thousands of people from low-achieving schools get into top Unis every year.
How? Because they wanted it badly enough, and got off their rear-ends to achieve it.
They didnt just sit around moaning about what a cr*p school they were at.

I know this because many years ago, I was one of them.
Original post by McGinger
'Which school' does not define your life.
What you acheive in life is entrely up to you.

Thousands of people from low-achieving schools get into top Unis every year.
How? Because they wanted it badly enough, and got off their rear-ends to achieve it.
They didnt just sit around moaning about what a cr*p school they were at.

I know this because many years ago, I was one of them.


exactly what I think, well if you dont mind saying, which uni did you go to, and like how did you achieve the grades you wanted without necessarily teachers suppoty exactly

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