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Sixth formers head to London for Elephant Group launch

Last month, Year 12 students from Anthem's Oxford Spires Academy and Queensbury Academy came together for the charity's launch event at Senate House, University of London.

The Elephant Group is a headteacher-led charity committed to improving fair access to top universities through the power of collaboration between school leaders, universities and wider invested partners. The charity’s stance is that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not and though 57% of private school students access ‘top third’ universities, only 23% of non-selective state school students and only 5% of disadvantaged students do.

The aim of the visit was to get the young people in attendance talking about their future and to start preparing them to make choices and apply for university courses through UCAS.  Students heard from Admissions Tutors and undergraduate students from Exeter University, Kings College London, Sheffield University, Newcastle University, Oxford University and Cambridge University. 

They also heard from Zero Gravity, a tech startup that is developing technology to identify top talent from low-opportunity areas and incubate it, so talented people everywhere can reach their full potential.  Representatives from Procter & Gamble were also in attendance, and they spoke to the students about the internships the company runs.

 Louise Cowley, Headteacher at Oxford Spires said:

“At Oxford Spires we want all our students to reach their full potential and I am thankful to The Elephant Group for inviting some of our young people along to their launch event.  The students came back brimming with knowledge about their higher education options and full of ideas about their futures.”

Students reflecting on the day said:

I learned more about my options for university, I also was told not to feel restrained by my GCSE results, and that the universities care more about my current attitude and results in sixth form.”

“I would like to study aerospace engineering or mechanical engineering as many universities only offer this. I am interested in applying for Oxford to do just engineering but most likely Bath as they have a very good and interesting aerospace engineering course.”

Helen Palmer, Headteacher at Queensbury Academy said:

“At Queensbury Academy we want our students to know the sky's the limit when it comes to their futures.  The work The Elephant Group is doing to inspire some of those who might not consider certain universities is so important and it was brilliant to hear how much those who attended took away from the launch.