New sixth form to accept cleverest poor children


The first selective school in more than 40 years is being set up to help bright pupils from poorer backgrounds go to the best universities.

Harris Westminster Sixth Form Academy, which will open in September 2014, will take 250 of the most gifted pupils in London, according to the Express. By using Westminster’s curriculum and coaching programme for university entry, it will strive to get its pupils accepted into universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.

The sixth form college is a partnership between Westminster public school and the Harris Federation of London academies, according to the Express.

It will apply the government’s Free School rules which permit screening by academic ability for a further education establishment.

Priority places will be given to children on free school meals or those who attract the pupil premium. Applicants will sit an entrance test and have an interview and will need to be predicted A and A* GCSE grades, with six A grades as a minimum requirement.

Sir Dan Moynihan, Harris Foundation chief executive, said: “There is a desperate need to try to improve social mobility and to accelerate the progress of the brightest children to the best universities.”