Top East End sixth form celebrates Russell Group milestone

Despite the tumult and anxiety surrounding this summer’s A-Level and GCSE results, London Academy of Excellence (LAE) Stratford is this week celebrating a landmark educational achievement.

Established in Newham in 2012, LAE’s vision and core purpose is to promote social and economic mobility through education by supporting students in one of the most deprived parts of the UK to secure places on competitive degree courses at top universities. Eight years on, LAE continues to do just that!

Since the first cohort of sixth formers received their exam results back in 2014, LAE has sent more than 1000 students on to study a wide range of courses at prestigious Russell Group universities. Following final confirmation of this year’s universities offers and places, LAE now has alumni studying at all 24 Russell Group universities for the first time.

From Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Edinburgh, to Cardiff University and Imperial College London, the 24 elite research-intensive universities that make up the Russell Group cover the length and breadth of the UK and offer a world-class education to their students.

LAE Headteacher, Scott Baker, commented: “this is a terrific achievement and an important milestone for the school. Despite significant progress in recent years in terms of widening participation and access to HE, the achievement gap remains stubbornly wide with students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds several times less likely to progress to top destinations. LAE has shown that economic disadvantage need not be a barrier to success.”

The school’s success is heartening news for those concerned about the earnings and attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers, a gap highlighted by The Social Mobility Commission’s recent report, The Long Shadow of Deprivation, and one which risks being exacerbated further by the Covid-19 pandemic unless urgent action is taken.

Deputy Head (Academic) Claudia Harrison said “There isn’t a secret formula for this success! Students come to LAE with good GCSE results, having been well-taught in excellent Newham secondary schools. Our curriculum is designed to prepare students to access places on high demand courses at top universities.

We teach a range of challenging A-Level subjects that sit at the heart of a unique extended curriculum that includes lectures, sports, clubs, independent school partnership projects, student leadership networks and much more. So not only do LAE students get the high grades they need to meet their university offers, they are well-rounded and resilient enough to thrive when they get to university and beyond.”

Additional Information

• In 2020, 96% of A-Level grades were A*-B and the average grades was an A+

• 15% of 2020 leavers secured places at Oxford or Cambridge colleges, and 30+ are embarking on Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine courses.

• LAE is in the top 1% of all schools nationally for value-added.

• LAE is supported by HSBC and partnered with six of the UK’s leading independent schools, including Brighton College, Caterham School, Eton College, Forest School, Highgate School and University College School.

• LAE is an academically-focused and high-achieving sixth form in Stratford, East London, located right next to Stratford station and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

• Applications for September 2021 entry open on 2nd November. For more information about upcoming events and the application process, please visit or search: ‘LAE Stratford’.

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