Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Harris Academy Executive Head: “Our students can get to the best universities”

WHEN THE statistics came out last week that not one single Thurrock student went up to Oxford and Cambridge in 2009-10, the first person we turned to was the principal of Harris Academy, Chafford Hundred (HACH), Chris Tomlinson.

Mr Tomlinson has been concerned about these figures for years as has all the other heads of the senior schools.

There are other figures that are equally underwhelming.

Proportion of state school pupils going into higher education.
Thurrock is fifth from bottom in the whole country with 49.4%

Proportion of state school pupils going into highly selective universities by local authority.
Thurrock is eighth from bottom with 5.7%

Tomorrow we will be showing our interviews with some of the students at HACH.

But we spent some time speaking to Mr Tomlinson to assess how he feels that HACH can reverse the trend.


  1. I would be interested to know if these figures include young people who live in Thurrock but who attended state secondary schools in other boroughs?
    And does it include apprentices living in Thurrock, but working in businesses outside Thurrock, where their apprenticeship course carries on to and beyond degree level?
    And does it include young people who have attended Sixth Form college outside the borough and then gone on to University?
    I think there may be practical difficulties in obtaining the figures for the above categoris, but I do think if they are relying on data from Thurrock secondary schools, the figures won’t be accurate

  2. I have done some figures regarding students’ choice of universities, which are fairly accurate considering the factors I took into account. It’s a part two to my blog from last week, if that interests you.

    But yes, it’s very interesting indeed. And surprising!

  3. Don’t worry Tommo! As soon as the influx of Polish, Russian and Lithuanian pupils pass through your school, Oxbridge will be saturated with Thurrock pupils! Look how these ambitious, dedicated and self-motivated students have already improved Ormiston Park’s GCSE results!


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