A single Cambridge college has taken 22 students from just one London private school, an analysis by The Telegraph reveals.
The number of offers made by Trinity College to Westminster School pupils is by the far the highest number that any Oxbridge college has made to one school over the past three years, according to data obtained under freedom of information laws.
Trinity College, Cambridge, has been formally linked to Westminster School since 1560, and until 2018 the college’s Master was automatically a governor of the school.
Westminster, whose alumni include the philosopher John Locke, author A.A. Milne and the former deputy Prime Minister Sir Nick Clegg, charges £41,600-a-year for boarders.
Founded in its current form in 1560, it is one of the country’s most prestigious public schools and remains on its original site, next to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.
Oxbridge schools – explore the colleges table
Trinity is one of Cambridge’s oldest and largest colleges and counts the Prince of Wales among its alumni, as well as King Edward VII and King George VI.
This newspaper obtained data from every Oxford and Cambridge college on the schools they have made the most offers to between 2018 and 2020.
The data also showed that half of Oxford’s colleges handed out the most offers to pupils from just two elite public schools: the £44,000-a-year Eton College and Westminster School, where fees are £31,500-a-year for day pupils.
Of Oxford’s 32 colleges, nine made the highest number of offers to students from Eton and a further seven gave the most offers to those from Westminster.
Universities are under increasing pressure to boost the diversity of their student intake, and Oxford has pledged that by 2023 a quarter of its new students will hail from the most deprived parts of the UK.
Kate Green MP, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said the data shows that there is "still an exclusive route from the country’s most privileged private schools" to Oxbridge.
Oxbridge schools – postcode search
She said: "Widening access to our top universities must be the test of the Government’s planned admissions reforms, while universities themselves must expand their efforts to reach out to communities that are underrepresented among their student bodies."
Prof Lee Elliot Major, who advises the Government on social mobility issues, said: "The incredible academic success of a select few elite schools shines a stark light on the national social mobility challenges we face.
"There is no reason why we shouldn’t have candidates for Oxbridge colleges and other highly selective universities from every one of the thousands of schools across the country."
The data also reveals the success of a handful of grammar schools and highly selective state sixth-form colleges. Six colleges – three at Oxford and three at Cambridge – gave the highest number of places to pupils at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge.
Oxbridge schools – top 20 private schools
Loreto College, a state-funded Catholic sixth form in Manchester, got 11 offers from Mansfield College, Oxford, and five from Cambridge’s Magdalene College over three years.
A spokesman for Westminster School said: "Many of [our] pupils, including a number who are in receipt of significant means-tested fee assistance, do indeed go on to study at some of the world’s leading universities.
"Those of course include Oxford and Cambridge, the independence of whose admissions and selection processes we recognise and respect.
"We are proud of what all of our pupils achieve with our support and guidance in an environment of academic enquiry and intellectual challenge that characterises a Westminster education from the outset."
Compare with our 2020 data here
Tomorrow on Telegraph.co.uk we will publish a series of articles detailing the top 25 best private, state, grammar and international schools for getting your children into Oxbridge.